By Ben Rosario
Proximity to the central government is not a guarantee of better and swifter access to social services as majority of the 14 million residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) are experiencing.
Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, aired this observation during the recent panel meeting on legislative priorities of the committee.
Lopez said legislative proposals seeking to deliver better social and health services and addressing the worsening traffic situation are among the identified priorities of the House panel.
Lopez called for closer coordination between Congress and various agencies in the executive branch to help in the speedy and efficient delivery of government services.
He lamented that the NCR, which currently has a population of close to 14 million, has the highest poverty incidence rate in the country.
“In the first part of 2019, we were unable to deliver social services to the people due to the inadvertence of some agencies. We want to avoid this because we don’t want people to suffer,” he told representatives of various frontline agencies.
He likewise cited the importance of improving infrastructure and fast-tracking social services in NCR, where 61% of total employment in the country is located.
During the hearing Metro Manila Development Authority general manager Jojo Garcia lamented how the proposed provincial bus ban suffered a setback through a court order and sought the help of legislators in pursuing traffic programs of the agency.
“We hope you could help us by passing laws that will improve the quality of life of residents of Metro Manila,” he appealed to lawmakers.