MinDA pushes for Palafox plan as input to Metro Davao dev’t

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DAVAO CITY — As the proclamation creating the Metro Davao Development Authority (MDDA) awaits the President’s signature, local governments can already start laying out programs aligned with the Metro Davao Urban Masterplan crafted by architect Felino A. Palafox, Jr., the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.

“At least for certain elements, it [MDDA] may not be starting from scratch because meron ng na-umpisahan (we have already initiated something) and that is the Metro Davao Urban Masterplan,” MinDA Deputy Executive Director Romeo M. Montenegro said at a recent forum.

The masterplan, undertaken and completed last year by the founder and principal architect of Palafox Associates in partnership with MinDA and several local governments units (LGUs), is part of the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan.

“We are happy that it is exactly moving in that direction right now… because the plan will remain a plan unless it is being translated into specific activities programs and get funded by the LGUs,” Mr. Montenegro said.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio of Davao City, the most urbanized area in the planned Metro Davao area, announced earlier this month that the draft of the Presidential Proclamation has been submitted and they are hoping that the MDDA will be organized by 2021 or 2022.

Mr. Montenegro said the LGU initiatives could later be integrated into a multi-city scheme with the MDDA in place.

“This is where the MDDA can definitely come in and pursue that particular direction,” he said.

Aside from Davao City, the Metro Davao area is envisioned to include the following: Digos City and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur; cities of Tagum and Panabo, and Carmen in Davao del Norte; and Maco in Davao de Oro.

The proposed MDDA will be involved in the unified management of waste, traffic, disaster resiliency, and infrastructure as well as policy development. — Maya M. Padillo