Don't give up on Metro Manila.
This is what members of the House of Representatives think about a Senate bill looking into the moving the capital away from the city of Manila and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said despite heavy traffic and flooding in Manila, the centuries-old city is irreplaceable to stand as the country's capital.
"I think it is a ridiculous idea to transfer the capital from centuries-old Manila to somewhere else. A capital is the city that stands as a country's bastion of political power, culture, and history to the world," Baguilat told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
"It usually is the oldest seat of government of a country where the president stays. It also usually is the most popular globally. And that is Manila," he noted.
Instead, Baguilat suggested to declare Quezon City as the government center.
He issued the statement after Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV made a proposal for Senate to create a commission that will determine if there is a need to retain Manila as the Philippine capital.
In his Senate Bill No. 655, Trillanes lamented how Metro Manila has become a capital, which could hardly stand proud in the ranks of national capitals throughout the world.
Trillanes argued that Manila City, even the entire NCR, lacked proper urban planning with only a little space left for further development.
But Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. thinks it's going to be very difficult for the government to establish a new capital city to represent the country aside from Manila.
"Abroad, the word Manila is thought to apply to Metro Manila rather than Manila itself. The city of Manila, I think, is the capital officially but the popular notion Metro Manila is the capital," he said.
"When you put up a new government center, you expect state employees to be there and when they are there, it becomes metropolis. And that is a super long process," Belmonte argued.
"I think it's possible to happen but personally, I won't give up Metro Manila. I think we should put more money into fixing it up and add more infrastructures," he insisted.
Belmonte, who served as mayor of Quezon City, expressed hope the government will be able to fix Metro Manila by enforcing better and closer coordination among its cities.
Citing his experience as a local chief executive, Belmonte emphasized it took a great deal of coordination among seven municipalities before making Quezon City what it is today.
But Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo thinks the country needs a separate commission to decide whether Manila is still fit to serve as the Philippine capital.
"That is the correct method on determining possible changes. Historical, economic, and political considerations must be looked into in the process," he said.
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Don't give up on Metro Manila.
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