Palace lukewarm to Metro proposal

Manila, Philippines -- Malacañang is seemingly lukewarm on the proposal to have a duly-elected governor for Metro Manila.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino is doing a good job in coordinating with all Metro Manila mayors.

"There's an MMDA chairman who is able to coordinate with all the mayors and a lot of problems of each and every city are looked at by Chairman Tolentino," Lacierda said.

"We believe that Chairman Tolentino has done a good job of coordinating with the mayors and making sure that all the mayors are in agreement with the solutions provided by MMDA and that MMDA Chairman Tolentino is also open to the recommendations of the city mayors," he added.

It was National Center for Commuters' Safety and Protection Chairman and former Bulacan governor Roberto Pagdanganan who proposed the need to amend the Constitution to have a duly-elected governor in Metro Manila, citing other countries like Japan and Thailand, which have their own governor in their capital city.

Pagdanganan raised the proposal following the bus ban in Manila City last week, which he said, affected neighboring cities.

He said Metro Manila needs a "holistic approach" to solve traffic woes.

Lacierda, however, said that on the whole, there has been a good coordination between the MMDA and Metro Manila mayors.

"We appreciate the efforts of both sides-MMDA and the city mayors," he said, adding that some metropolitan cities like Makati prefer to have their own set of rules like no window hours in the number-coding scheme because it is a business district.

"There are reasons why some cities would prefer to have a different set of rules," Lacierda said.