The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, often abbreviated as MMDA, plays a crucial role in the management and development of the sprawling urban landscape of Metro Manila, Philippines.
Established in 1995, the MMDA has evolved into a multifaceted government agency tasked with various responsibilities, from traffic management to disaster risk reduction.
|The new 20-Storey Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Head Office in Pasig City|
In this guide, we will delve into the functions, challenges, and achievements of the MMDA.
MMDA History and Background
The roots of the MMDA can be traced back to the Metropolitan Manila Authority (MMA), established in 1975 to address the growing concerns of the rapidly expanding metropolitan area.
|The former MMDA headquarters along EDSA and Orense Street in Makati|
- Highway Patrol Division also part of the Traffic Enforcement Division
- Road Emergency Group
- Traffic Enforcement Division
- Traffic Engineering Center
- Towing Services
If you are looking for a job, MMDA is hiring! See MMDA Job Listings here.
Metro Manila Council
|Map of Metro Manila|
showing the cities and
Municipality of Pateros
The governing board and policy making body of the MMDA is the Metro Manila Council, composed of the mayors of the cities and municipalities.
The heads of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), and Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) or their duly authorized representatives, attend meetings of the council as non-voting members.
The council is the policy-making body of the MMDA.
- It approves metro-wide plans, programs and projects and issues rules, regulations and resolutions deemed necessary by the MMDA.
- It may increase the rate of the allowances and per diems of the members of the council to be effective during the term of the succeeding Council. It fixes the compensation of the officers and personnel of the MMDA, and approves the annual budget thereof for submission to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
- It promulgates rules and regulations and sets policies and standards for metro-wide application governing the delivery of basic services, prescribes and collects service and regulatory fees, and imposes and collects fines and penalties.
MMDA Key Functions
a. Traffic Management:
- One of the most visible and critical roles of the MMDA is traffic management. With the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the road, congestion has become a significant problem.
- The MMDA implements various traffic schemes, road reconfigurations, and road safety programs to ease traffic flow and reduce accidents.
b. Flood Control and Disaster Risk Reduction:
- Metro Manila is prone to flooding, especially during the rainy season. The MMDA takes proactive measures to mitigate flood risks through drainage system maintenance, river dredging, and disaster preparedness programs.
c. Solid Waste Management:
- Proper waste disposal is essential in a densely populated area like Metro Manila. The MMDA oversees waste collection and disposal programs, promoting waste segregation and recycling to reduce the environmental impact.
d. Urban Planning and Development:
- The MMDA collaborates with local government units to ensure sustainable urban planning and development. This includes regulating land use and zoning to manage the growing population and businesses within Metro Manila.
e. Environmental Protection:
- Environmental conservation is a priority for the MMDA. The agency actively participates in initiatives to combat air and water pollution, maintain green spaces, and protect natural resources.
Transportation and Traffic Management
Pasig River Ferry
Since 2014, the agency took over the mothballed Pasig River ferry system in anticipation of huge traffic along the metropolis, from the Skyway Stage 3 construction. In reviving the defunct transportation, many of the old ferry stations were reactivated and new vessels purchased.
Ridership of the waterway service increased over time, with the offering of discounts to students and senior citizens. The MMDA intends to continue operating the ferry service until a private investor takes over.
No Physical Contact Policy
Since 2003, the MMDA has implemented a No Contact Apprehension Policy in apprehending traffic violators in Metro Manila using traffic enforcement cameras and closed-circuit television to capture violators without the presence of an on-site traffic enforcer.
To ease traffic congestion on main roads in Metro Manila, the MMDA under Chairman Francis Tolentino launched Christmas Lanes, marking 17 alternative routes for motorists during the Christmas season of 2014. Since then, they have been renamed as year-round Mabuhay Lanes, designating alternative routes on roads that should be cleared of obstructions at all times. This was underscored by strict parking restrictions, where parked motor vehicles along these priority roads would be immediately towed.
Illegal Parking and Towing
The MMDA is tasked to clear obstructions from the roads at all times, and conducts daily clearing operations against stalled and illegally parked vehicles, with subcontracted towing companies. Illegally parked vehicles will be given 5 minutes to leave, and will be towed otherwise. Incapacitated vehicles are almost immediately towed to clear traffic.
Primary and secondary roads, unless with designated parking areas, are considered "No-Parking-Zones".
Starting from Bayani Fernando's term, there has been a large increase in construction of footbridges all over Metro Manila. It has been continued, albeit fewer than before, by succeeding chairmen.
|Scout Borromeo Street-NIA South Road footbridge along EDSA|
It has been hailed due to providing safe passage and crossing for pedestrians in otherwise risky pedestrian lanes while also criticized for not being accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs), posing dangers to pedestrians with steep steps, slippery surfaces, and poor lighting, and prioritizing motor vehicle travel speeds over the convenience and safety of pedestrians.
A short-lived curiosity all around Metro Manila is the pink urinals made popular by Bayani Fernando, which he implemented prominently in Marikina in an effort to curb public urination. They have since been removed, however, with remaining urinal units distributed instead to local government units.
Flood Control and Sewerage Management
The MMDA operates several pumping stations in strategic areas of Metro Manila, with the aim of mitigating flooding risks, particularly during inclement weather. Old pumping stations that used diesel engines were upgraded in 2015 to use electric motors.
Brand new pumping stations were also constructed in flood-prone areas as part of the agency's flood-mitigation program. In addition they also scheduled a regular maintenance of 54 pumping stations across the country with 12 stations being equipped with new pumps.
Despite its vital role in managing Metro Manila's growth, the MMDA faces several challenges:
a. Traffic Congestion:
- Congestion remains a persistent problem, exacerbated by a growing population and inadequate public transportation infrastructure.
b. Limited Resources:
- The agency operates with limited resources and faces funding constraints, hindering its ability to implement comprehensive solutions.
c. Coordination with LGUs:
- Collaborating with 17 local government units can be challenging, as varying priorities and interests may impede progress.
d. Environmental Concerns:
- Addressing environmental issues like air and water pollution requires long-term planning and significant investments.
Achievements of MMDA
In the face of these challenges, the MMDA has achieved notable successes:
a. Ongoing Traffic Management:
- The agency has implemented numerous traffic management schemes, including the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the "Number Coding" scheme, to ease congestion.
b. Disaster Preparedness:
- The MMDA has improved disaster risk reduction measures, resulting in more efficient responses to natural calamities and emergencies.
c. Public Awareness:
- Through public education campaigns, the MMDA has increased awareness about environmental conservation, road safety, and disaster preparedness.
d. Advocacy for Sustainable Urban Planning:
- The MMDA's role in advocating sustainable urban planning has led to better land use management and infrastructure development.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) serves as a crucial agency in managing the complex challenges of Metro Manila's urban development. While it faces several obstacles, its efforts in traffic management, disaster risk reduction, and environmental conservation have yielded positive results.
As Metro Manila continues to grow, the MMDA's role will remain pivotal in ensuring the region's sustainable and orderly development.
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
Understanding the Government Agencies in the Philippines
- Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
- National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
- Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
- Climate Change Commission (CCC)
- National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
- Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)
- National Privacy Commission (NPC)
- Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
- National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)
- National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
- Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)
- Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
- National Youth Commission (NYC)
- Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
- National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)