Officials from Metro Manila and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently completed a productive visit to Berlin where they observed and studied the German capital’s best practices on urban management.
The delegation led by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, included local chief executives of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Pateros, and San Juan, and MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, Jr.
The visit started with an official welcome reception in honor of the delegation held at the Philippine Embassy on October 20. In her remarks during the event, Embassy Chargé d’affaires Lillibeth Pono expressed gratitude for having been given the honor to organize the delegation’s visit. They were then given a comprehensive briefing on Philippine-German relations, the Embassy’s functions, and the State of Berlin.
The highlight of the study visit was a special briefing held on October 23 organized by the Embassy and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).
KAS Deputy Secretary General Dr. Gerhard Wahlers welcomed the delegation and in his speech, he underscored the Foundation’s longstanding partnership with the Philippines. This was followed by an informative presentation on the German federal system delivered by Prof. Dr. Georg Milbradt, former Minister President (equivalent of governor) of the State of Saxony. He also shared his experience as a former state chief executive, particularly his expertise on fiscal matters.
Prof. Dr. Milbradt encouraged the Metro Manila officials to carefully study the systems of government of various countries and develop a system that would best serve the interest of the Philippines and the Filipino people. He added that for a federal state to succeed, it must be able to offer benefits to its component political entities, such as security and economic incentives, which the latter would have difficulty achieving as an independent state.
The following days were devoted to visits to Berlin’s water treatment plant and waste-to-heat facility, and the EUREF Campus, a testing site for new transportation (such as autonomous vehicles and electric vehicle charging facilities), energy generation, and building technologies, where the delegation looked into potential technological solutions to Metro Manila’s problems. END