Salceda pushes legislation creating NCR as province
By Mark A. Gomez
Reelected Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda is pushing for the passage of a law that will make the National Capital Region (NCR) as a province with its own governor.
In a June 1 press statement, Salceda, chairperson of the House Ways and Means committee, wants the NCR to have powers similar to the defunct Metro Manila Commission (MMC), which was established by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and then headed as governor by his wife,Imelda Marcos.
Salceda said that the NCR is too large and too populous to have disunited economic convergence,urban development, planning, crisis management, and transport policies.
According to him, the result of disunited policy and planning is that the NCR have 17 different kingdoms with different traffic, disaster management and urban development programs.
“Whether we admit it or not, whether we like it or not, much of the country’s commerce passes through NCR. So, when NCR doesn’t get its policy right, everybody else also suffers,” Salceda added.
He also stressed: “One example of that is the ban on provincial busses in EDSA. MMDA is denying they did it . DOTr is also denying it. Province people suffered the most confusion . So let’s just set is as, okay, the NCR commission or province is in charge of all roads in NCR that are not municipal or city roads.”
“And let’s make the NCR governor an elected official so that they are more responsive to the needs of the people,” he further said.
Salceda also cited disaster response as a frequent predicament in NCR.
Salceda manifested that during disasters it is necessary for maximum coordination and that is very difficult to do without someone who is accountable for coordination.
As former governor known for disaster response, he said he can attest to the wide latitude of disaster response capabilities that are not accessible to the NCR because it does not have a governor.
Further, Salceda said he wanted to revisit the central plan prepared by the MMC to see what can be done. He also hoped that President-elect Bong Bong Marcos revisits the potentials of the MMC, which was then governed by his mother.
He also cited the notable programs of the MMC such as the Metro Manila Transport, Land Use and Development Planning (MMETROPLAN), which was completed in 1977 and the Love Bus project.