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17 LGUs to ask for Congressional Charter as Metro Naga Authority

MNDC chair and Naga Mayor John G. Bongat (4th from right) joins the technical working group headed by Onofre Alajor (3rd from right), municipal project development officer of Minalabac, in crafting the proposed charter bill that will convert MNDC into Metro Naga Authority. Photo also shows MNDC Project Officer Adolfo Badiola (standing) who introduced before the municipal project development officers from 17 LGUs the draft of the provisions contained in the proposed measure. REBECCA RAGAY PHOTO

By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- In a bid to acquire legal personality, the 17 local government units comprising the Metro Naga Development Council is drafting a proposed bill that will grant their allied organization a Congressional Charter and henceforth convert it into Metro Naga Authority (MNA). If enacted into law, the Authority will not only enjoy appropriations from the national budget but also obtain legal capacity including entering into contracts with private and international organizations and receiving grants from local and foreign entities as part of its initiative to facilitate the inflow of public and private investments for purposes of identifying funding sources for local development programs and projects. Currently, the body does not possess congressional charter as it is not even registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the government’s quasi-judicial securities-regulating agency, or with any other government instrumentalities that provide the inter-LGU alliance with juridical character. With the establishment of MNA, the Metro Naga Development Council shall function as its governing body which will be composed of mayors of all member-LGUs. Initially, the member-LGUs are as follows: the Municipalities of Bombon, Bula, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Gainza, Libmanan, Magarao, Milaor, Minalabac, Ocampo, Pamplona, Pasacao, Pili, San Fernando, and Siruma and the City of Naga. Once a chartered body, each member-LGU would also achieve stronger financial posturing as their group will be apportioned with funds from the national budget to finance their common development agenda, thereby sparing the LGUs from spending more to finance the development programs and projects as members of the alliance. “The LGU members become more capacitated to finance their own projects and programs as their financial contributions to MNA will be lessened,” says Adolfo M. Badiola, Jr., MNDC project officer. Among the functions of the Authority is to prepare, undertake, and implement comprehensive, integrated, and collaborative development programs to promote the Authority’s development agenda as approved by the Council. These programs include the formulation of comprehensive physical framework plan including, but not limited to, integrated road connectivity, disaster risk and climate change responsive land use planning and execution, traffic management, solid waste management, investment and tourism promotion, and; to promote growth in the areas of agriculture, industry, commerce or other similar activities, which may be necessary to the area’s socio-economic development, whether by itself, or in cooperation with private or government entities.

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