MANILA - The seat of the national government should be transferred to New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac by 2030, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Thursday.
In filing Senate Bill No. 876, Gatchalian said moving the seat of government to New Clark City would help decongest Metro Manila, which has been suffering from heavy traffic and pollution.
"With our economy growing at 6 percent on the average and the rise of middle-income families who have the capacity to buy new vehicles, we need to move the seat of government to a new place to relieve Metro Manila of its traffic and population congestion problems," Gatchalian said in a statement.
Gatchalian pointed out that some countries had also transferred their respective seats of government to other locations, as in the case of Malaysia which considers Putrajaya as its administrative capital.
He noted that Metro Manila, with 12.88 million residents as of 2015, has a population density of 20,785 persons per square kilometer, a figure higher than Mumbai, Paris, and Tokyo.
The Philippine capital’s traffic congestion costs the country P3.5 billion daily, a 2017 data from the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed. This could rise to P5.4 billion by 2035 if no interventions are made.
Gatchalian said transferring the seat of government to New Clark City will spread development to other parts of the country, generate jobs for Filipinos, and help the economy achieve sustainable growth.
The development of New Clark City is already part of President Duterte's Build-Build-Build program, and is projected to contribute P1.57 trillion per year to the country's gross domestic product upon its completion, he added.