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Two Manila congressman rush to stop MMDA clearing in sidestreet; ‘Abuse of Power, Lack of Jurisdiction and Authority’ decried

Joel Chua
Congressmen Joel Chua (3rd district) and Rolan Valeriano (left) being interviewed as they rushed to the scene of what they described as abusive MMDA operations. ( JERRY S, TAN)

“Bastusan na itong ginagawa ng MMDA.”

This was how two Manila Congressmen described the operations of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in non-Mabuhay lanes as a commotion ensued in the city yesterday when they rushed to Fugoso and Natividad Streets to question the operations there.

Manila third district Congressman Joel Chua and 2nd district Rep. Rolando Valeriano, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, rushed to the said area to aid the residents whose vehicles were being seized by MMDA enforcers in an area where they are not supposedly allowed to operate. Incidentally, Chua said he was on his way to an appointment near the area and his vehicle was passing by the area when he noticed the commotion and got out of his car.

Chua said he confronted the MMDA enforcers to question their jurisdiction because the roads where he found them conducting their operations are not among the Mabuhay lanes anymore.

According to Chua, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna has already previously told the MMDA to coordinate with the city traffic bureau and barangays, but that the MMDA has been merely informing Manila by sending pictures of their operations after-the-fact, not prior for proper coordination.

Chua paticularly took pity on a Grab driver that the MMDA accosted, stressing that apart from the fact that the MMDA operation was not within MMDA jurisdiction, the concerned Grab driver was working, earning for his family and that the vehicle he was driving was most likely just on loan.

“Kawawa naman ‘yung taong naghahanapbuhay at ipinangutang pa malamang (yung sasakyan),” Chua told an interview.

Valeriano, for his part, said the MMDA is even seizing vehicles at carwash establishments, adding:“Parang carnapping na ‘yung ginagawa nila.”

According to Valeriano, he has invited the MMDA to attend the hearing scheduled on March 8, 2023, so it can explain to the House why it is operating even on non-Mabuhay lanes.

Chua has earlier sought the abolition of the MMDA, saying, among others, that it encroaches on the jurisdiction of local government units.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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