The Department of Transportation (DOTr) continues its fight to rid Metro Manila of congestion and is readying itself to lead by example by making the first step in moving its head office outside of the metropolis, a move that is in line with the creation of the country’s National Government Center.

On July 28, 2017, the DOTr will begin the first phase of its relocation to its new headquarters in Clark, Pampanga, helping in the reduction of congestion in the National Capital Region while also boosting the economic growth in the province.

“The decision to transfer is in line with the unwavering efforts of the government to decongest Metro Manila, reduce travel time, improve travel of motorists and help boost development in its peripheries,” the department said the DOTr in a statement.

To ensure seamless and efficient transition, the move will consist of several batches – the first will include the Secretary, Undersecretaries, and Communications.

Complete transition of all DOTr assets is expected to be done by the end of 2017.

The DOTr will lease the offices it vacates in Ortigas making revenue while also saving money with cheaper rental and overhead costs in Clark, Pampanga. Overall, the agency expects to earn PHp 9.3 million per year from the transfer.

The department has been delibrating with affected employees to make arrangements such as provision of free shuttle services to ferry employees to and from Clark, implementing flexible time and four-day work week schedule, and availability of affordable food. Discussions on subsidized accommodations are also ongoing. They were also given the option to transfer or be detailed in any DOTr attached agency. Likewise, employees from DOTr attached agencies who wish to be based in Clark were also given the option to transfer or be detailed to the Department.

Further, DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade expressed his support on the creation of the National Government Center to be built in Clark to house central offices of government agencies in one location for more convenient transactions. As envisioned in the BUILD BUILD BUILD Program of the Duterte Administration, the National Government Center to be built in Clark shall serve as a common location that will facilitate the smooth-sailing convergence of government agencies in terms of coordinating and implementing its respective programs and services.