DOTr is first to relocate in Clark, leads Manila decongestion plan

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE – A light shower could not dampen the energy of Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade during the inauguration of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) office in Clark Freeport Zone on July 28, 2017.

The DOTr secretary kept his promise of relocating his office to Clark by July. Flanked by his undersecretaries and top brass government officials, Tugade led a flag raising ceremony on the grounds of his new office.

DOTr’s office in Clark stands near Clark Center on the previous site of Clark’s first call center agency.

Tugade expressed his determination to relocate in the new office. He even dismissed alleged complaints that the new office in Clark would add transportation burdens to government officials.

“Ipakita natin sa mga nasa burukrasya na handa tayong magsakripisyo,” (Let us show the bureaucracy that we are willing to sacrifice) said Tugade while urging his colleagues to take the first steps in purging Manila of traffic woes.

However, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Thomas Orbos claimed that the transfer of government offices to Clark would have more benefits to the people.

“We have to create highly urbanized cities outside Manila,” Orbos said. “In this way, we bring progress to the provinces and we bring them at par with Manila.”

This plan to disperse progress in regions around Manila can be linked to the Duterte administration’s flagship campaign of making Philippines a federal government.

The current administration is also working hard to earn the confidence of foreign investors through its “Build, Build, Build” program, an aggressive step to boost Philippine’s infrastructure projects. To date, the New Clark City’s comprehensive master plan is underway. This New Clark City is a modernized metropolis at the northern tip of the existing Clark Freeport Zone.

As a gesture of support, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Vivencio B. Dizon announced that his agency would soon transfer to Clark.

The DOTr’s inauguration of its new building saw foreign investors from all over Clark, represented by its unifying body, the Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA).

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About Arli Joshua Atienza

Arli Joshua Atienza is a native of Bataan, an English teacher by profession, and a passionate member of Clark’s Jewish community. He began his career in journalism since his high school days. It culminated when he joined his college’s radio station and news publication. Now, he works as a journalist at KLIPP TV.