Bill Filed to Transfer Phl Capital

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd district) has filed House Bill No. 83 calling for the creation of an Administrative Capital City Planning Commission (ACCPC) that will be tasked with studying the proposed relocation of most of government agencies outside Metro Manila.

The proposal aims to organize a seven-man commission that will also be tasked to draw a comprehensive masterplan for the establishment of administrative city, including identification of suitable site, the agencies to be relocated and its financial feasibility.

This developed as Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has also proposed to transfer key government offices to like Malacañang and the two branches of Congress to Negros.

Benitez, in an interview with Aksyon Radyo-Bacolod, said his proposal is now the subject of consultations among Cabinet men led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

“We have ongoing consultations with the DOF on how much money needed to transfer government agencies to provinces,” he said.

Benitez, chair of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, said that he welcomes the proposal of Alvarez.

He said that when President Rodrigo Duterte visited Bacolod last month, the Speaker related to him his proposal to transfer the seat of government capital to Negros.

“This is to be fair to everyone as the best location is the area which is in the center. If that pushes through that is good for us,” he said.

The idea “makes sense because Metro Manila is already very congested. Traffic and population is terrible. It is also practical to first move the government offices. It will also develope the area where it will be transferred,” Benitez pointed out.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., said that the proposal of Alvarez is “a virtual endorsement of the Negros Island region.”

However, Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is not optimistic of the idea.

“Let us not get too excited. When it happens, then maybe we should be very happy,” Lacson said yesterday.

Coming from the Speaker it is a very good development for Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, he said.

“But, it is right now just an idea and let us wait for it to materialize. It will still be along process as other provinces would also want the capital in their area,” the Vice Governor said.*