As the lead agency tasked to manage transportation systems and traffic decongestion plans in the country, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will take the lead in transferring its Central Office to Clark, Pampanga, a move that is in line with the creation of the country’s National Government Center.
The transfer is seen to help decongest traffic in Metro Manila, reduce travel time and improve the travel of motorists, and boost the development in the peripheries of NCR.
A series of dialogues were conducted with DOTr employees wherein arrangements such as provision of free shuttle services to ferry employees to and from Clark, implementing flexible time and four-day work week schedule, and availability of affordable food, were formulated and agreed upon. Discussions on subsidized accommodations are also ongoing.
DOTr employees were also given the option to transfer or be detailed in any DOTr attached agency. Likewise, employees from DOTr attached agencies who wish to be based in Clark were also given the option to transfer or be detailed to the Department.
The transfer, which started on July 28, will be rolled out by batches, in order to ensure a systematized and efficient transition. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Based on computations, the transfer will increase the savings of the DOTr, owing to less rental and overhead costs as well as gaining potential income from opening its owned units in Columbia Tower for lease. The DOTr is estimated to earn an additional PHP9.3M per year from the transfer.
Further, DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade expressed his support on the creation of the National Government Center to be built in Clark to house central offices of government agencies in one location for more convenient transactions. As envisioned in the BUILD BUILDBUILD Program of the Duterte Administration, the National Government Center to be built in Clark shall serve as a common location that will facilitate the smooth-sailing convergence of government agencies in terms of coordinating and implementing its respective programs and services.
According to a study released by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in September 2014, traffic congestion in Metro Manila is costing the Philippines at least P2.4 billion a day, which, if left without intervention, is likely to reach P6 billion a day by 2030.