Senate Bill No. 655: Should the government move the Philippine capital from Manila?

After suggestions to have “Pilipinas” changed to “Filipinas,” (READ: Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino: "Stop using the name 'Pilipinas,' use the 'Filipinas' instead") there’s also a proposal in the Senate to transfer the country’s capital and seat of government.

Saying Metro Manila had lost its luster as a national capital, Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV is seeking the creation of a commission that will study the possible relocation of the country’s seat of power.

“Metro Manila is a capital which could hardly stand proud in the ranks of national capitals throughout the world. To better administer government transactions, as well as spur development in other areas of the country, it is high time to comprehensively study the potential of relocating and transferring of the national capital and permanent seat of the national government of the country from the City of Manila and the National Capital Region."

The veteran lawmaker argued that Manila City in the National Capital Region (NCR) lacked proper urban planning manifested in its “antiquated drainage systems, and traffic gridlocks” since 1976.

Under Senate Bill No. 655, a National Capital Commission (NPC), an ad hoc study commission will be established to look into this. 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.

Trillanes cited the Australian city of Canberra as an example used by many emerging nations in the post-World War II period. An international competition was even held to design this new capital city, he noted.

He also cited Brasilia, which he said experienced rapid growth after its establishment as Brazil’s capital in 1961.

Manila is the second largest city in the Philippines and is one the sixteen cities that make up the NCR or more popularly referred to as Metro Manila.

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