THE ESTABLISHMENT of an agency for the development of Metro Baguio — composed of Baguio City and five neighboring towns in the province of Benguet — was ratified in the Senate on Tuesday.  

The Metropolitan Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay Development Authority (MBLISTTDA) will be in charge of coordinating and regulating both medium- and long-terms plans for the mountain area north of the capital Manila.  

It will be similar to the development bodies in clustered urban areas such as Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, and the newly-formed Metro Davao.   

Its tasks include public service delivery, traffic management, and land use planning.   

Under the reconciled version of the bill, MBLISTTDA must formulate a master plan to serve as a framework for the development of the area and submit this to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).  

It must also coordinate with NEDA and the finance department to interface with foreign assistance agencies to obtain financial support, grants, and donations in support of its programs and projects. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan