DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – Six local government units in Davao Region have joined forces for the creation of a Metropolitan Davao Development Authority that will provide a single direction towards developing the coastal cities and towns along the Davao Gulf, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said on Thursday.
Duterte told reporters that she would chair the committee at the Regional Development Council that is tasked to draft the proposal for the creation of the authority.
The proposed body will comprise Davao City, Digos City and Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur, Panabo and Tagum Cities, and Carmen town in Davao del Norte.
Once created, she said that “everyone will move as one” in drafting plans for waste disposal, traffic, infrastructure, security and disaster resiliency, among others, citing a provision of the Philippine Development Plan that recommends the creation of metropolitan areas in Manila, Cebu and Davao.
She said there are also plans to include Nabunturan town in Metropolitan Davao.
“I joined the briefing with NEDA (National Economic Development Authority). The initial action to create Metropolitan Davao has already started,” she said.
She said the committee would also revisit the Metro Davao Urban Master Plan, which was drafted by urban planner Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox and funded by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), to see if it can be incorporated into the proposed metropolitan authority.
The plan is expected to take into account the land use and the “socio-economic activities of the rural and sub-urban components of the municipalities and cities that compose Metro Davao, as well as the other areas around the Davao Gulf from Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental to San Isidro in Davao Oriental, especially as to how these impact and/or feed into the urban dynamics,” according to MinDA.
The objectives of the plan include identifying the comparative strengths and functional roles of the different areas within Metro Davao with the end-goal of complementation and alignment of policies, programs and projects; identifying solutions to shared challenges including transport efficiency, provision of urban services, among others; aiding national agencies, Local Government Units, and the private sector in planning and implementing development endeavors within Metro Davao and its influence areas.
It also wants to serve as a guide for local governments in updating their respective comprehensive land use plans taking into account the land use and socio-economic dynamics not only within their political boundaries but the impact and influence of adjacent areas as well; promotes and facilitates more investments and economic activities within Metro Davao and the adjacent areas; and, support the creation of more formal alliances between the local governments especially on matters pertaining to policies and regulations.
The mayor said she said she would ask the Regional Peace and Order Council to create a technical working group that would draft a security plan for Metropolitan Davao.
She said the proposal would be forwarded to Office of the President for a presidential proclamation, but added it must also get the approval of Congress. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)