MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants to lead in efforts to decongest Metro Manila by being the first government office to move its main office to Clark in Pampanga.
“We will start moving July this year with offices finished or unfinished. We should start the first move to decongest Metro Manila of government offices” said Tugade on Tuesday, April 18, during the “Dutertenomics” event in Pasay City.
The DOTr main office is in Mandaluyong City. Tugade had wanted to make the transfer in December 2017 but recently decided to move 5 months earlier.
“Ang plano ko diyan ay Disyembre dapat, kaso masyadong maingay yung ibang nagproprotesta so sabi ko, 'sige hindi na Disyembre, July na!’” he said in a chance interview.
(My plan was to move out in December but those protesting were too noisy so I said, ‘okay, we won’t move in December, but in July!’)
Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vince Dizon said other government agencies are expected to eventually transfer to Clark, specifically to New Clark City, in the coming years.
New Clark City is envisioned to be a smart, green city that will rise in 9,450 hectares of what used to be a military base.
Dizon said roads have been built in the area and lands have been sold to some real estate development companies.
“Construction of this is ongoing, we are already building roads, portions of it have already been awarded to private partners such as Filinvest Land,” said Dizon.
"But I think more important…is slowly we will be moving key government offices from Metro Manila to Clark," he added.
The government is hoping to make New Clark City more viable by, among other things, improving access to it and encouraging more use of the Clark International Airport.
The planned Philippine National Railway North Railway is expected to cut travel time from Manila to Clark to 55 minutes.
Another train project, the Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, will make it easier to transfer goods to Clark. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.