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ROUGH CUTS|How’s the MDDA now?

CONGRESSMAN Isidro Ungab of the third district of Davao City celebrated his birthday only four days ago. Gauging from his post on Facebook, we can be certain that he is on vacation in Paris, France, with his wife. We do not know if the congressman has read our greetings and the greetings of other people who are already his friends and those who want to be his friends.

     One thing is sure, though, is that Congressman Ungab deserves the vacation because he takes his job quite seriously as a senior deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. Anyone can imagine the stress attached to his work.

     Unfortunately for the congressman, every time we read his posts or heard or read news about him, we could not help but be reminded of a law that he so painstakingly labored to craft in the House so that the Bill becomes a law and its objective be realized.

     We are actually referring to the Metro Davao Development Authority (MDDA). The bill was introduced during the dying days of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte but finally signed into law at the onset of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

     The MDDA is an agency created by the law initiated by Congressman Ungab in the House with a corresponding version in the Senate. After the approval of the Senate version, it was harmonized by representatives from both houses and finally forwarded to Malacanang for the President’s signature.

     When finally it was signed by President BBM, the gesture was met with jubilation among Davaoeños as this would mean the body that will harmonize the development planning for the entire covered areas will now be clothed with the mandate of the law, which is not as authoritative if it were just a mere Council that is usually an ad hoc body that the succeeding President may disband if he/she so desires.

     But it has been almost a year since the law’s signing but its implementation still remains unclear as to when. The latest that we got from the law’s principal author, Congressman Ungab, is that it still lacks the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), the guidelines or mechanics of its execution. According to Congressman Ungab himself, the members of the Council that will be tasked to prepare the law’s IRR have yet to be appointed by the President. Thus, it could only mean that the drafting of the IRR has not even been started yet.     

     Ungab himself said he has been requesting a meeting with some Executive Department members, including the President, so that the Council members may be appointed as soon as possible and the work on the IRR be started immediately.

     However, no meeting has been done or even set. Therefore no appointments have been made.

     Maybe the congressman can take advantage of the President’s successive travels abroad. The one in charge of Malacanang is Vice President Sara Duterte. So if the VP is sympathetic to the cause of the Davao Region, maybe she can convene those concerned lawmakers, and in consultation with them, the VP can start scouting for people whose names she can submit to the President for a possible appointment when he comes back.

     Unfortunately, Congressman Ungab is also outside the country. Therefore, he cannot propose a meeting with the top executives of the government to discuss the MDDA concerns.

     With all the dilly-dallying of appropriate actions on the still unimplemented law, we can only hope that the MDDA will not be one of those good laws being dumped down the drain of forgotten memories.


     For the nth time, we are again harping on the issue of undistributed garbage bins longtime delivered to certain rural barangays in the city’s three districts.

     We feel obliged because if no one will, then who else will do?  Yes, we are witnessed to the delivery by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of hundreds of garbage bins shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already done away with the tag of COVID as a global health emergency. But still, the garbage bins remain piled in some dark corners of barangay Hall compounds of recipient villages. Some of the bins are actually showing signs of deterioration because these are just left to the elements of nature.

     Why are the bins not distributed to strategic locations in the barangays, we still have not received any answer, both from the CENRO and the Office of the Mayor. Even the barangay councils of recipient barangays have no idea why the bins remain undistributed.

     The CENRO people must have been assigned humongous responsibilities that none so far have acted on barangay residents’ complaints about the bins’ non-distribution.

     Let the men and women of the CENRO be reminded that the bins were bought with people’s money and must be used according to their purpose.      


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