BAGUIO CITY – The local chief executives of Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, & Tublay (BLISTT), the Provincial Governor of Benguet, and Congressman Marquez Go of Baguio City, met on August 11, 2022 to plan initial steps toward the establishment of the Metropolitan BLISTT Development Authority (MBLISTT DA) that was created through Republic Act 11932. Also present during the meeting were the BLISTT Vice Mayors, the Chairs of the Laws and Legal Affairs Committee of the BLISTT and Benguet Sanggunians, their respective Local Government Legal Officers with NEDA-CAR as the interim Secretariat under the earlier BLISTT set-up.

The next steps include the organization of the MBLISTTDA Council, selection of a Chairperson, crafting of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 11932, and detailing guidelines and processes in the implementation of the RA’s provisions, within 90 days from July 30, 2022. A technical working group will be created to study technical details of the IRR and conduct local consultations before the MBLISTTDA Council’s approval.

NEDA was requested by Congressman Mark Go to estimate the 2023 operating cost of the authority and to propose options for LGU fund counterpart. The group hopes for a smooth and timely transition to a fully operational MBLISTTDA towards accelerating the development of the BLISTT and the Province of Benguet.  Prior to the establishment of the MBLISTTDA, the BLISTT inter-local cooperation operated through a governing council and a development council but was institutionally limited to implement BLISTT-wide programs, projects and services. The same set-up has been supported by the Regional Development Council-CAR with interim secretariat services provided by the NEDA Regional Office-CAR. RA 11932 provides budgetary allocation and authorizes the MBLISTTDA to source funds for and implement high-impact inter-local development programs and projects that will benefit the BLISTT LGUs and the Province of Benguet.