|FOR CLARK – Rep. Rimpy Bondoc revives Senator Ople’s proposal for Clark|
CLARK FREEPORT – With the worsening and complex problems Metro Manila is facing, a lawmaker has proposed that the Clark Freeport in Pampanga be established as the National Government Center.
Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc made the proposal through House of Representatives Resolution No. 2492. This jibes with the proposal of the late Senate President Blas Ople to transfer Malacanang to Clark to decongest Metro Manila.
“With the escalating concerns on congestion in Metro Manila, it is about time that the House of Representatives initiate the relocation of the national government offices in a strategic location that will better serve Filipinos nationwide especially those outside Metro Manila,” Bondoc said.
Bondoc said House Resolution 2492 entitled “Resolution establishing Clark, Pampanga as the National Government Center,” which has been referred to the Committee on Government Reorganization for its appropriate consideration.
Bondoc pointed out that the population of Metro Manila has ballooned to about 20 million in 50 years causing sever congestion and strain to public utilities.
“The traffic situation in Metro Manila is considered one of the worst in the world which contributes to huge economic losses worth billions of pesos annually,” Bondoc said.
He added that “the Global Driver Satisfaction Index of traffic and navigation application Waze and the Traffic Index for Country 2015 Mid-year Report of online database Numbeo lists the Philippines, particularly the City of Manila and Metro Manila as one of those with the worst traffic situation.
“No less than the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has said that the traffic situation in Metro Manila is expected to get worse in the next 15 years,” Bondoc said.
He even cited foreign countries like Brazil, Australia and Canada where business and government have separate capitals and are situated in strategic locations to better serve their constituents.
“Clark has a more central location than Metro Manila with airports, seaport and road network already in place, Land or open spaces are readily available in Clark, thus there is no need for the government to purchase land,” he explained.
Bondoc said “we can locate all government facilities within two kilometers of each other, facilitating better coordination, communication and travel.
“The different national government buildings in Metro Manila are located far apart, making it difficult to navigate from one office to another, and the cost of land in Metro Manila is very expensive, making it difficult to expand the offices or to centralize government offices in one strategic location,” the author pointed out.
Besides, he stressed, locating the government offices in Clark will increase and hasten development in the countryside. (with Dionisio Tubianosa)