Stronger together – Key members of the IRR Technical Working Group turns over the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11932 to the Mayors of the BLISTT (Photo by RMC, PIA-CAR)

BAGUIO CITY – The Metropolitan BLISTT (MBLISTT) Council convened on October 12 to review and approve the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11932, creating the Metropolitan Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, & Tublay Development Authority (MBLISTTDA). The council was given 90 days from the approval of the law on July 30, 2022 to craft the IRR.

The IRR was crafted by a technical working group (TWG) led by Benguet Vice Governor Ericson L. Felipe and composed of the BLISTT Vice Mayors, Benguet provincial, city, and municipal legal officers, legal officers of the congressmen of Baguio City and Benguet, Sanggunian chairpersons of the committees of laws, rules, and legal matters, and representatives from the regional offices of the DBM, DILG and NEDA. The TWG discussed and defined key administrative, operational and financial concerns that were not clearly provided in RA 11932.

The Council unanimously approved the IRR with minor corrections and improvements. The IRR will be published after the effectivity of RA 11932, which is 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.

RA 11932 institutionalizes the BLISTT inter-local cooperation by establishing a development authority that shall manage inter-local development and ensure financial support from the national government for the implementation of BLISTT-wide programs and projects. The MBLISTTDA shall support the BLISTT as the economic and educational primary growth center of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

NEDA-CAR has served as the secretariat of the BLISTT Governing and Development Councils since 2014, and continues to provide technical assistance in the BLISTT’s transition from an inter-local body bound by a memorandum of agreement into a development authority under the direct supervision of the President of the Philippines.