Previously, we have discussed the matter of federalism and how it can help address the issue of congestion in Metro Manila for the region to achieve a more meaningful development. But as was pointed out last time, decongestion is just part of the equation to achieve this goal of a meaningful development. The other part of the equation is equally important, and that is governance.
A metropolis of 17 kingdoms
Metro Manila, sadly, presently suffers from an ill-conceived system of government that has often prevented measures that would have enabled meaningful development for the metropolis. The thing is, Metro Manila today is nothing more than a set of 17 little kingdoms that have their own whims with no authority that administers over them, save for the President.
That is because these cities are classified as highly-urbanized cities. And under the 1987 Constitution (Article X, Section 12), highly-urbanized cities are considered as completely independent from the provinces, thus implying that these cities do not have an authority to answer to except to the President. (There’s the case of Pateros which is the only municipality in Metro Manila but being located in Metro Manila it is a de facto independent town in itself.)