By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo

DoTr targets transfer to Clark by yearend

Posted on July 25, 2017

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said in a statement on Monday, July 24, that it targets the transfer of its offices to Clark in Pampanga by the end of the year.

"We want to help decongest Metro Manila. That is why, DoTr will be the first government agency to transfer to Clark, Pampanga." -- Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said during a July 2017 forum
The DoTr said its transfer to the future New Clark City from its current office in the Ortigas area in Mandaluyong City is “in line with the unwavering efforts of the government to decongest Metro Manila, reduce travel time and improve travel of motorists, and help boost development in its peripheries.”

The DoTr said the transfer will be done by batches, starting July 28.

The department also said that after conducting dialogues with employees and members of the DoTr, it has come up with solutions to address such concerns as the provision of free shuttle service to bring employees to and from Clark, implementing flexible time schedule and a four-day work week, and affordable food. Discussions on subsidized accommodations are also ongoing.

DoTr employees were given the option to transfer or be detailed in any DoTr-attached agency, and that employees from attached agencies who wish to be based in Clark were also given the option to transfer or be detailed to the new DoTr location. The department also said the transfer will not incur additional expenses, and that it expects to earn about P9.3 million a year from the transfer, owing to less rental and overhead costs in Clark, and to the potential income from opening its units in Columbia Towers for lease.

The planned move was met with concerns and grievances from not a few DoTr employees who say the conditions will be difficult for them, as they will have to wake up in the very early hours in the morning in order to ride the shuttle going to Clark.

Employees voiced their worries in a Facebook group called “DoTr No to Clark Transfer,” described as a forum for “employees (past and present) to facilitate exchange of ideas (bright or otherwise) related to the plan of DOTr Management to transfer the DOTr HQ to Clark.”

A member of the group had posted that requiring employees to work in a new location without thinking of their well-being is “heartless,” while another said he wondered how moving to Clark can help ease traffic in the Ortigas area if the DoTr’s units in Columbia Tower will be leased.

The government plans to transfer national agencies to the future New Clark City. The first phase of the city is set for completion by 2022, while construction of the Manila-Clark railway will start in the last quarter of 2017, and this project is expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2021.