My Google Page Rank

Ayala vs Pateros

PDFPrintE-mail

PATEROS IS JUST 2.10 SQ. KM. IS SIZE, BUT IT IS NOW ONE OF THE 17 CITIES MAKING UP METRO MANILA. COMPARTIVELY, AYALA IS MORE THAN TWICE THE SIZE OF PATEROS WHICH HAS A TOTAL LAND AREA OF 5. 29 SQ. KM. BUT INTRUIGINGLY, IT HAS REMAINED PERPETUALLY A BARANGAY WITH ALL ITS LIMITLESS POTENTIALS AND RESOURCES FOR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. 

Frankly I decided to make this comparative analysis of two local government units, to make our concerned politicians realize that a huge territorial jurisdiction is not sine qua non in the creation of a local government unit or its conversion from one level to another level. Our Constitution has provided the mechanism for this purpose and has set the requisites, limitations, and requirements in the Local Government Code of 1991. Such Code has also provided for the exception when the matter of territorial requirement is raised to argue for or against the creation, conversion, or elevation of a government unit from one level to another.

Pateros was already a municipality before the creation of the Manila Metropolitan Commission by virtue of a Presidential Decree #824 issued in 1975 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It became one of the municipalities under the Metropolitan concept of administrative region despite the fact that its land area is just 2.10 Sq. km. I am sure if it were not for Martial Law, even our most reserved and introvert City Councilor, would have shouted to high heavens in protest against the creation of the first metropolitan political structure not only because of the micro territorial size of Pateros as a component municipality but because Metro Manila is also the smallest administrative region of our country with only about half the size of the main land area of Zamboanga City.

But the political situation was entirely the opposite in 1986 when Corazon (Cory) Aquino assumed the Presidency of the Philippines via the People Power Peaceful revolution, yet instead of abolishing the Metropolitan political structure of Manila, she only issued Executive Order # 392 changing the structure of Manila Metropolitan Commission and renamed it Metropolitan Manila Authority which again legitimized  the status of Pateros as one of the component municipalities under the MMA political entity.

Eventually in 1995, Republic Act 7924 reorganized Metropolitan Manila Authority and became the Metro Manila Development Authority still retaining the political status of Pateros as a municipality despite the fact that it has only 2.10 Sq. Km. of territorial jurisdiction, exactly  41.90 Sq. Km. short of what is required under the Local Government Code of 1991 which was already in effect for 4 years after the passage of Republic Act 7924 in 1995 changing the name of Metropolitan Manila Authority to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), now a full-fledged Metropolis composed of 17 cities. Believe it or not, even Pateros with only 2.10 Sq. Km of land area, is presently a component city of Metro Manila, the first full-pledged and genuine Metro City in the Philippines now fast accelerating toward the attainment of being the first Mega City. In fact, Media is starting to call it a Mega City.

Now let me shift my attention to the barangay of Ayala in the West Coast which was already a municipality during the Spanish occupation of Zamboanga. Under the American period, when the Legislative Council of the Moro Province passed Act # 272 converting Zamboanga into a city with a commission form of government, Ayala was reverted to the lowest political unit as a barrio, now barangay.  Ayala retained its barangay status when Zamboanga City was reverted to municipality upon the establishment of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu in 1914 and ceased to be the Capital City of Mindanao when the department of Mindanao and Sulu was divided into provinces and placed Zamboanga City under the Province of Zamboanga encompassing the present-day Zamboanga Peninsula with the inclusion of the entire province of Basilan.

Ayala, under all these legislative and administrative changes and structural political arrangements remained stagnant even after Zamboanga was again elevated to cityhood by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 39, authored by Assemblyman Juan Alano and signed into law by President Manuel L. Quezon on October 12, 1936. The city status of Zamboanga was inaugurated on February 26, 1937 about 77 years ago. 

Why has Ayala, despite its unlimited potentials for industrial, economic, technological, scientific, cultural, and political development remained stagnant with respect to its status as a barangay. Why has not any political leader taken the initiative to elevate this fast progressing local government unit to municipality together with other equally progressive barangays by act of Congress using existing legislative or administrative models allowed by our Constitution? Why are our political leaders so seemingly scared to create other cities within the huge territorial jurisdiction of Zamboanga City like the cities of Metro Manila, the cities and municipalities of Metro Cebu, and the cities and municipalities of Metro Davao? Don’t they realize that Zamboanga City is too big even for 20 mayors to effectively and efficiently administer?     

Are our local political leaders aware of the fact that Pateros City is less than half the size (2.10 Sq. Km.) of the barangay of Ayala (5.29 Sq. Km) in terms of land area? Are they also aware that the primary industry of Pateros which is inferentially also its principal source of income is only “duck raising?” or “balut making?” Why has it become and survived as a city while Ayala, has remained perpetually a barangay? Don’t they like Ayala to become a municipality and later on like Pateros also a city? Don’t they like this political growth and development to happen to all the other deserving and qualified barangays of the City which are at present cannot be properly attended to, and satisfactorily served by our local political leaders because of their distances from the center of the city? Or are located outside their effective span of service and control?     

By Clem M. Bascar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items: