Philippines: Relocate various government facilities outside the NCR

Philippines: Relocate various government facilities outside the NCR

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Carl Bryant Carlos started this petition to Philippine Government

As we all know, Metro Manila is one of the most, if not, the most densely populated region in the Philippines. This does not come as a surprise though, considering:

  • The region is the center of culture, economy, education and government of the Philippines. Designated as a global power city, the region exerts a significant impact on commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, both locally and internationally. It is the home to all the consulates and embassies in the Philippines, thereby making it an important center for international diplomacy in the country. Its economic power makes the region the country's premier center for finance and commerce. The region accounts for 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines [1].
  • Manila has been the principal city of the Philippines for four centuries and is the center of its industrial development as well as the international port of entry [2].
  • Majority of business districts and highly-urbanized industries are based in Manila (Quezon City, Makati, Ortigas, Taguig, etc.) and almost all of the country's economic trades and ventures are centered there [3].
  • There are various forms of public transportation available, including the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), jeepneys, and buses. There's a wide road network that links Metro Manila, which ensures accessibility and convenience [4].
  • With all of that said, a lot of people would rather work and live in Metro Manila as it is better and has more sources of income than their respective provinces and regions.

Metro Manila is indeed well-thought-out in becoming an administrative region. This is only one of the many reasons why it flourished more than the other regions in the Philippines. However, as time passes by, problems arise and soon become apparent; some of which include:

  1. OVERPOPULATION
    With over 12,000,000 people and growing, it already has more than 46,000 people per square mile, twice the density of New York City. Manila's fertility rate is a soaring 3.1 children per woman, and residents face rampant disparity in living conditions [5].
  2. TRAFFIC
    Based on the 2015 Global Satisfaction conducted by Waze, Metro Manila has the "worst traffic on Southeast Asia" [6]. This has many undesirable effects, one of which is also very prominent - Pollution
  3. POLLUTION
    As many as 120,000 Filipinos die yearly due to air pollution from cars and fossil fuel burning, WHO reports. Related illnesses include lung problems, cardiac arrest and even cancer. With 45.3 deaths per 100,000 people, the Philippines has the third highest mortality rate in Asia due to air pollution, after China and Mongolia [7].

    According to the National Emissions Inventory, last 2012, 71% of the air pollution in the Philippines comes from vehicles on the road. Furthermore, the situation is much worse in the National Capital Region (NCR), wherein 85% of the air pollution comes from vehicles [8].
  4. WEST VALLEY FAULT
    The west segment of the two major fault segments of the Marikina Valley Fault System is known as the West Valley Fault. It runs through Metro Manila to the cities of Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig and Muntinlupa. The fault possesses a threat of a large scale earthquake with an estimated magnitude between 6–7 and as high as 7.6 to Metro Manila and surrounding provinces with death toll predicted to be as high as 35,000 and some 120,000 or higher injured and more than three million needed to be evacuated [9].
  5. TOO AHEAD IN DEVELOPMENT
    As tackled before, a lot of people would rather work and live in Metro Manila as it has better and more sources of income. This leaves the other regions and provinces behind in development and the previous problems would only continue to worsen if we expand too slowly.

Fortunately enough, this matter has already been given notice, albeit not enough to the general public. The House Committee on Housing and Urban Development has already tackled the matter regarding the decongestion of the NCR [10]. While President Duterte's "Build! Build! Build! Infrastructure Plan" is also already underway, though very much delayed due to various reasons [11].

 

The purpose of this petition however is not only to provide more awareness of the matter and idea to the general public, but also to suggest the idea that we decongest NCR by expanding it through the relocation of various government facilities, specially branching through the provinces.

This is similar to the idea way back when President Quirino made Quezon City the capital of the Philippines in an attempt to urbanize it. Quezon City and Manila share a boundary and making Quezon City the new capital has decongested Manila and allowed the Metro to expand. [12]. By relocating various government facilities outside, but still near NCR depending on the condition, little by little we can expand and decongest Manila again.

Problems may include the processing of permits and various paperworks which require us to travel from one office to another. Surely, relocating the offices farther would make it harder specially with the traffic. However, with the rise of the Digital Age, this is not that huge of a problem; furthermore, it is also a small sacrifice to make in an attempt to decongest Metro Manila, develop the other provinces, and prevent the worsening of the previous problems mentioned created by the congestion of Metro Manila.

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