Bill creating new Metro Manila body backed
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has supported a House bill seeking the creation of a new political unit in Metro Manila with legislative powers.

In a two-page legal opinion released yesterday, the DOJ said it saw no constitutional or legal objection to the enactment of House Bill No. 712 creating a special metropolitan political body to be called Metropolitan Manila Regional Administration (MMRA).

It cited the power of Congress under Sections 10 and 11 of Article X (Local Government) of the 1987 Constitution to create laws subject to a plebiscite.

“Clearly, it leaves to Congress the option of providing for a supra-municipal council or authority, while vesting basic autonomy in the cities and municipalities themselves, and limiting the jurisdiction of that council or authority to several basic services requiring area-wide coordination and supervision,” read the opinion signed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

De Lima explained that the creation of such body would require the approval of a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite on the political units directly affected, referring to the 16 cities and a municipality in the National Capital Region.

The DOJ, however, defers to other relevant government agencies comments “insofar as the other provisions which are relevant to their respective mandates are concerned.”

In the proposed law authored by Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, the MMRA would be given authority to enact ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the constituents of the metropolis.

The services that the council or authority may render, according to De Lima, include the area of drainage and flood control, zoning and land use, traffic and transport management, garbage collection and dump sites, health and peace and order.

The jurisdiction of the body would be limited to these basic services as the cities and municipalities shall retain their basic autonomy and shall be entitled to their own local executive and legislative assemblies.

ARTICLE X CALOOCAN REP DE LIMA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EDGAR ERICE HOUSE BILL NO JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA LOCAL GOVERNMENT METRO MANILA METROPOLITAN MANILA REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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