Press Release
November 9, 2015

Trillanes: Relocate national capital, government center to ease traffic

As a solution to the everyday heavy traffic condition in Metro Manila, Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV has sponsored on the Senate floor Senate Bill No. 2354, seeking to transfer the country's capital and the seat of national government.

Trillanes, chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization, and Professional Regulation, said "The past few weeks of heavy traffic in Manila have taken a toll among commuters and motorists who had to endure a couple of hours on the road before reaching their destination. To date, various measures have been employed by our government to address this worsening traffic condition but none has been proven effective yet. We need to create long term and feasible solutions to this problem."

"National capitals occupy a commanding position in the stature and development of nations. They are the visible symbols of national pride and a defining vehicle for national progress. However, with its current situation, Manila, as the country's capital, could hardly stand proud in the ranks of national capitals throughout the world."

Numbeo, an online database on global statistics, in its 2015 mid-year report, released information comparing traffic data from 88 countries based on commuting time, traffic inefficiencies, commuting dissatisfaction and carbon dioxide emissions. The result showed that traffic in the Philippines is the 5th worst in the world, with African countries on top of the list. Further, according to the National Economic Development Authority, the country, particularly Metro Manila, is losing Php2.4 billion per day in potential income as a result of traffic congestion problems alone, leading to lost productivity.

"Even if we spend for infrastructure and develop our mass transportation system, traffic situation in Metro Manila will continue to be a problem, unless we decongest it," Trillanes added.

Under SBN 2354, an ad hoc study commission will be established to look into the potential of relocating and transferring the national capital and permanent seat of the national government of the country from the City of Manila and the National Capital Region. The body will be composed of three commissioners, who will be appointed by the President, and a secretariat that will provide technical and administrative assistance to the commission. Within two years after its commencement, the commission will submit to the President a report of its study and recommendations.

"Through this measure, we do not only resolve the massive traffic gridlocks in Metro Mania, but also improve the administration of government, and other economic and business transactions; and subsequently spur development in other parts of the country." Trillanes further noted.

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