Solon wants New Clark City as national government hub

A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking the transfer of selected national government agencies to New Clark City, Pampanga in a bid to decongest Metro Manila.

In a statement on Thursday, Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said 22 central offices of national government agencies (NGAs) and 27 government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) that are located in the capital shall transfer to Clark if House Bill 7896 becomes law.

“With today’s worsening traffic conditions, the government should step up in finding ways to make our cities livable for our citizens,” Herrera-Dy said in the bill’s explanatory note.

“As a duty to serve the people, the government should lead in using its resources for traffic decongestion and regional development,” she added.

According to data from the Civil Service Commission’s Inventory of Government Human Resources, the total number of government personnel in the National Capital Region (NCR) is 522,340 as of August 2017 — 334,825 are career service professionals, 58,311 are non-career, and 129,204 are with Job Orders or Contracts of Service.

Herrera-Dy said with these numbers, the transfer of government offices will give due consideration to its personnel and the agencies’ official mandate.

“It is the government’s responsibility to provide efficient government services and to make efforts towards development. The transfer of selected national government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations are seen to contribute to the country’s economy and overall competence,” she said.

The bill states that the non-critical functions of these NGAs and GOCCs, such as, but not limited to, personnel, transportation, accounting, payroll, human resources, among others, shall be prioritized in the transfer to Clark.

The NGAs and GOCCs shall ensure that only services catering to front-line public needs shall remain within the NCR in various satellite offices.

Government employees hired before the transition of office to New Clark City are given the option to follow a four-day work week upon transfer; free transportation coasters or buses to New Clark City from a local pick-up point in Metro Manila; Low-cost and/or long-term payment options for housing of families of government employees in New Clark City.

Government employees who will not transfer to New Clark City are given the following options: be transferred to attached agencies and offices of their respective agencies within Metro Manila; a special voluntary severance package; or an exemption for certain Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) pension requirements for the early separation of government employees because of the transfer.

Under the bill, the following are relevant agencies located in NCR that are subject for transfer to the New Clark City:

Civil Service Commission, Commission on Appointments, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Finance, Department of Health, Department of Information and Communication Technology, Department of Justice, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of National Defense, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, and the National Economic and Development Authority. PNA