As early as 1995, then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, supported the concept of Metro Davao but, according to Neda, there was no formal agreement or an act of congress “executed to formalize its legal and juridical identity.
Because of this, the region, having no official legal framework (although they have a de facto one, the Davao Regional Development Council), exists not as a juridical identity but only as an informal reference to the area. However, the said council have formally adopted the concept in 1996 for the development of the area, especially Davao City.”
In yesterday’s press conference, Davao region officials led by Mayor Sara Duterte, are bent on the creation of a Metro Davao which will include the cities of Davao, Digos in Davao del Sur; Panabo and Tagum in Davao del Norte. Also included are the first class towns of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur and Carmen in Davao del Norte. Nabunturan, the capital town of Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley), is still under study.
The Island Garden City of Samal, an island city of Davao del Norte, was not mentioned in the deliberations although it was cited as one of the component cities in the Neda report.
Instead of going through congress to formalize its legal and juridical identity, the Davao Region officials will request the Office of the President to issue a Presidential Proclamation for the creation of Metropolitan Davao and its development authority.
This is akin to the formation of Metro Manila in the 70s. Its component cities and municipalities were formed into one province through a decree issued by then-President Ferdinand Marcos, designating the then First Lady Imelda Marcos as governor. To formalize its juridical identity, Congress created into law Republic Act No. 7924 in 1995, instituting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. (https://pidswebs.pids.gov.ph)
“The creation of Metropolitan Davao means that we move as one,” Mayor Sara said yesterday. Twenty five years hence, Metro Davao might soon become a reality.