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Mayor Bautista proposes law-making powers for Metro mayors

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Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista is mulling the idea of giving Metro Manila mayors legislative powers to enable them to craft laws that would be applicable to the capital region.

Mayor Bautista expressed his views during a recent meeting of the technical working group of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.

The committee has been holding discussions on two proposed legislations that aims to recast the charter of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Quezon City, under Mayor Bautista’s watch, has become a model and trailblazer in various aspects of governance. The mayor, who is on his third term as mayor of Quezon City, was appointed chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Metro Manila by no less than President Duterte. He is the immediate past president of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

The House panel is working to consolidate two bills concerning the MMDA — House Bill 4642 authored by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo and House Bill 5057 authored by Representatives Bayani Fernando (Marikina City), Dale Malapitan and Edgar Erice (Caloocan City) and Castelo.

According to Mayor Bautista, the Metro Manila Development Authority which is collectively governed by the Metro Manila Mayors Council, should be granted special legislative powers to enable the mayors to craft ordinances that would be uniformly implemented in Metro Manila.

“Ok lang bigyan ang Metro Manila Mayors ng legislative powers under the MMDA, provided that the powers are clearly defined,” Mayor Bautista said.

Further, the legislative powers should be regulatory in nature. Bautista cited several instances wherein Metro Manila mayors could have acted as legislators in their respective cities.

He cited the situation in 2014 when Malacanang had to intervene in addressing the port congestion at the Port of Manila.

Mayor Bautista said had the MMDA was empowered to act on such matter, it would’ve had stepped in and untangle the port congestion instead of necessitating national government intervention.

“Merong mga ordinansa na pang local pero bigyan natin ng power ang MMC as legislators pero executive sila sa kanilang mga lugar. Dapat defined ang mga functions. Itong mga bagay na to, dito kayo pwedeng mag legislate. Let us not limit the functions on service alone,” Mayor Bautista ended.

Mayor Bautista said his proposal follows the federalism track which the Duterte administration is actively advocating.