Press Release
May 31, 2022

Senate OKs bill creating development body for Baguio, 5 municipalities

A bill seeking to create a development authority embracing Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay in Benguet province received unanimous support from senators who voted 18-0-0 to pass it on third and final reading on Monday.

House Bill No. 9215 sponsored by the chairman of the Committee on Local Government, Sen. Francis "Tol" Tolentino, seeks to establish the Metropolitan Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay Development Authority (MBLISTTDA).

Tolentino pushed for the creation of MBLISTTDA to serve as the platform to accelerate social, economic, and political developments in the area by enabling component local government units (LGU) to respond to common developmental challenges through unified, effective, and economically efficient programs and undertakings.

"I believe that urban aggrupation in the form of metropolitan development authorities can assist both the national and local governments in implementing reforms that would strengthen the country's economy and our people's dynamism. Regional cooperation through the establishment of development authorities becomes all the more relevant as the country moves toward greater decentralization and post-pandemic rebuilding and recovery efforts," Tolentino said.

Under the bill, MBLISTTDA shall provide services that take into consideration the needs of the population within the territory, including development planning and preparation of medium-and long-term development plans; urban renewal, land use planning, and housing and shelter; transport and traffic management; solid waste disposal and management; flood control and sewerage management; water resource management system; health, sanitation, and pollution control; public safety and order; and tourism.

The MBLISTTDA Council shall also be created to serve as the governing board and policymaking body. It shall be composed of the governor of Benguet and the mayors of concerned LGUs as ex officio voting members. As ex officio non-voting members, the council shall also be composed of the vice mayors of the same LGUs, representatives of the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Tourism, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Science and Technology, Commission on Higher Education, Philippine National Police; and two representatives from the private sector.

The council shall be headed by a chairman who shall be elected from among the regular members and shall preside over the meetings. An MBLISTTDA administrator, who shall act as the chief executive officer, shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines from a list of nominees submitted by the council.

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