After suggestions to make the country’s name "Filipinas", another branch of government seeks to make another change: replace the city of Manila as the seat of capital in the country.
In filing Senate Bill No. 655, Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV proposes to create a commission that will determine if there is a need to retain Manila as Philippine capital.
“Metro Manila is a capital which could hardly stand proud in the ranks of national capitals throughout the world,” Trillanes lamented.
“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,” he suggested.
Trillanes explained national capitals occupy a commanding position in the stature and development of nation, standing as symbols of pride or a vehicle for national progress.
But 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.
He also pointed out that the hazardous air quality compounded by the proliferation of illegal settlers has only made Metro Manila “a place with only a little space for development.
With his Act Constituting a National Capital Commission for Capital Relocation, Trillanes hopes for the creation of an ad hoc commission to undertake a feasibility study on the matter.
“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,” his bill stated.
“Within two years after its commencement, the commission will submit to the President a report of its study and recommendations,” it proposed.
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.
Located on the eastern shore of Manila, the city of Manila is home to about 1.7 million Filipinos as of 2010 national census.
Manila Mayor and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada vowed to revive the glorious image of the city from proliferation of crimes and lackluster economic performance.