The Province of Bataan, a region situated along the western coast of Luzon, boasts a unique geographical location. As a peninsula, it is embraced by the waters of the West Philippine Sea to the west and of Manila Bay to the east. Towards its northeastern boundaries, it shares borders with the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, while its northern border is marked by the province of Zambales.
Among the developments on the horizon for Bataan is the forthcoming construction of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge, described by the Asian Development Bank as the pivotal missing link in the road network connecting the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and the Calabarzon regions. The government’s unwavering commitment to infrastructure investment promises to spur economic activities in the province, thus stirring a surge in regional growth and prosperity.
To facilitate the holistic development of the province, the creation of the Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA) is proposed through Senate Bill No. 2373 filed by Senator JV Ejercito.
The authority aims to seamlessly integrate and coordinate efforts while fostering the socio-economic advancement of the region. Emphasizing collaboration, shared resources, and bolstered by the financial backing of the national government, the MBDA is poised to elevate Bataan to unprecedented heights of progress and sustainable development.
The proposed bill further provides that the governing board and policymaking body of the MBDA shall be the Metropolitan Bataan Development Council, which shall be composed of the Governor as ex-officio Chairperson of the Council, the Mayors of the City of Balanga, the Municipalities of Abucay, Bagac, Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Limay, Mariveles, Morong, Orani, Orion, Pilar, and Samal, the Administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), as ex-officio members. The Region-Ill regional directors of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Public Works and Highways, Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and Philippine National Police (PNP), shall be ex-officio members of the Council without voting rights.
Meanwhile, the MBD Council as the policy making body of the MBDA, shall exercise the following functions: (a) Approve the development plans, investment programs, and projects after consultation and coordination with the LGUs and other stakeholders operating in the Metro Bataan Area; (b) Formulate and issue ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations deemed necessary by the MBDA to carry out the purposes of this Act; (c) Recommend Investment programming for its plans and programs as well as supervise the implementation of plans and programs which will include the formulation and coordination of its related activities; (d) Coordinate and work closely with the DOT and its attached agencies on the grant of franchises to safe, reliable, and environment-friendly public utility vehicles within the MBDA jurisdiction; and (e) Approve the annual budget of the MBDA for submission to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and endorse the annual as well as the supplemental budgets of the MMDA.