The big move – Manila Standard

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The Philippine population has reached the 10-million mark as of August 2015. Based on the 2015 Census of Population, the Philippines has a total of 100,981,437 persons.

National Capital Region alone has 12.8-million people. NCR is the most densely populated region in the country with a population density of 20,785 persons per square kilometer; and the City of Manila is the most densely populated with a record of 42,628 per square kilometer. Seeing these high numbers, we realize how immensely congested Metro Manila is. Thus, we suffer its consequences such as traffic, pollution, and flooding.

In an attempt to decongest Metro Manila, I have a pending resolution on the possible relocation of national government center to General Nakar, Quezon, and the construction of a national circumferential road which will service the Pacific side of our country. I re-filed House Bill No. 3383 or the “Pacific Palisades Act,” which seeks to provide for the construction of a superhighway connecting the provinces of Bicol, Quezon, Aurora, Quirino, Isabela, and Cagayan.

The transfer of the seat of the government is necessary to improve coordination and communication between government agencies, reduce bureaucratic red tape, and promote swift delivery of public services. Furthermore, constructing a national circumferential road connecting various provinces in the country will promote development of rural areas, improve accessibility to markets, trading centers, and ensure prompt delivery of basic goods and services to the people.

Let us take Malaysia as an example. In 1999, the seat of government was shifted from Kuala Lumpur (the country’s capital) to Putrajaya because of overcrowding and increasing traffic congestion. Putrajaya is a “planned” city located 25 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur that serves as the country’s administrative center. It was officially declared as a federal territory in 2001. Before the Federal Territory of Putrajaya was established, Malaysian government offices were located at various areas within Kuala Lumpur. Back then, traffic congestion hindered administrative processes. It is ideal to replicate this in the Philippines now that traffic congestion in the metro is getting worse, resulting to reduced productivity and efficiency.

We should take advantage of what the President dubbed as the “Golden Age of Infrastructure” by prioritizing projects that would have a long-term benefit for the country and its people. We must be forward-thinking in creating a “masterplan” that would ensure efficient transportation, communication, trade, and most importantly, make a timely delivery of goods and services.

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