Metropolitanization (Part 1)

What does this tongue-twisting 19-letter word mean? What is its significance and what key role will it play here in our country?

Both in developed and developing countries, concerted metropolitan action is being cited as the main solution to sustainable development challenges.   Metropolitan governance is a key issue for the New Urban Agenda of UN Habitat as the main solution to sustainable development challenges.  More and more of functional metropolitanization and regional planning has proven to be essential to ensure effective and sustained service delivery across communities.

I initially even had difficulty pronouncing “metropolitanization” the first time I’ve heard of it during the initial deliberations for Book I during our first TWG meeting called by the Senate Committee on Local Government on the proposed amendments to the local government code.

When it was presented by the academe to the Senate TWG meeting, they defined metropolitanization as a “governance structure that factors common management of natural resources, and responds to delivery of basic social services” and that the creation of a center or “hub” may or may not be a city.  They even refer to metropolitan as “a political unit greater that the province”.
While there may be a consensus that there is a need for the metropolitanization of some areas in the Philippines, there are disagreements as to the structure, funding and role it will play.   Will it be another additional layer between the national and the provincial governments?

For example, the Metro Manila Development Authority or MMDA structure, although it is not an LGU like a Province, it’s head is not elected by the people.  Hence, it has no supervisory powers and functions over the Metro Manila Cities.  But the MMDA annually receives an Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share1, which has been questioned for several years now.2


(To be continued….)

1For FY 2017, MMDA’s IRA share is P382Million, aside from the mandatory remittances it receives from its component LGUs and the annual budget it receives from the GAA (i.e. P2.17Billion For FY 2017) and its income and revenues from all its sources.
2 The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) recently passed GA Resolution  No. 2017-04 calling for the repeal of laws treating the MMDA as a Province in the allocation of the IRA and proposing instead the allocation of funds from the national government and other sources for MMDA.

About the Author
Sandra Tablan Paredes is presently the Executive Director of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) since October, 2016 although she previously served LPP as Director from 1997 to 2004 Sandy helped organize ULAP in 1998 with former Governor Joey Lina and advocated for the LGUs' rightful IRA share, among other league advocacies, programs and projects to help local officials ensure local and fiscal autonomy and good governance. Recently served as concurrent interim Executive Director of ULAP from Jan-March 31, 2017. You can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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