AN MMDA traffic officer directs vehicles along Katigbak Road corner Roxas Boulevard in Manila in this photo taken March 28, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL PALMA

A MANILA City representative wants to abolish the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), citing that its functions could just be carried out by national agencies and local governments.

During the House’s plenary session on Monday, Manila Rep. Joel R. Chua lambasted the MMDA and called it “disruptive.”

“This is proven by the often demolitions, sidewalk clearing, and towing operations of the MMDA that aren’t coordinated with the barangay, city hall, municipality, and police,” Mr. Chua said.

He also cited reports from state auditors indicating that the MMDA failed to complete 20 out of 39 flood control projects in 2021.

He also said the MMDA sometimes contradicts the rules of other agencies and local governments.

“Respect is mandatory. MMDA has been disrespecting agencies and local governments and their individual laws,” he said.

He also pointed out that the MMDA does not have legislative or police powers, contrary to its actions.

Quezon City Rep. Franz S. Pumaren supported Mr. Chua’s call, saying, “There are incidents wherein cars are parked for a short time, but they’re suddenly towed (by the MMDA). What is this? Do they have a quota in catching vehicles?”

Mr. Chua suggested to retain the Metro Manila Council, the governing board and policy making body of the MMDA composed of 17 mayors and district representatives in the capital region. Mr. Chua is a member of the council.

He said that the council should be placed under the Department of Interior and Local Government, with its office to be composed of 50 employees.

“Instead of a big office like the MMDA that the Congress funds more than P5 billion yearly and P4 billion from other fund sources, the council and its secretariat will only need P100 million (to operate),” Mr. Chua said.

He noted the MMDA’s increasing manpower with 9,767 personnel in 2021 from 6,812 in 2011.

He also said that dissolving the MMDA is in line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s call to rightsize the bureaucracy.

The MMDA has not replied to messages and emails seeking comment. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz