At last… an order that should have been given three years ago was issued last week. President Duterte has signed Administrative Order 18 calling for an end to tax perks for ecozones in Metro Manila. With the administrative order, Peza can “no longer accept, process or evaluate the establishment of ecozones in Metro Manila immediately.” By this order, the President has taken an important step towards not only encouraging the faster development of ecozones in other less developed regions but also in decongesting Metro Manila. I remember the meeting I had with DOTr Secretary Art Tugade after the 2016 elections after he was given the almost impossible task of untangling Metro Manila traffic. The group included former DPWH and DOTC Secretary Ping de Jesus and MAP transport issues head Eddie Yap. The consensus was Metro Manila was too congested and any proposed solution to alleviate its transport woes will be at best, palliatives. We need to discourage more people from the provinces migrating to Metro Manila. But the jobs are in Metro Manila. We need to create growth centers that provide jobs in the regions. This was why Sec Tugade decided to show the example by moving his department’s head… Read full this story
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