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Duterte orders transfer of remaining gov’t offices in Zamboanga to Pagadian

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted the moratorium on the transfer of regional offices from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City.

In signing Memorandum Circular (MC) 79 last June 25, Duterte cited the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) observation that the designation of Pagadian City as the regional government center promotes easier access to services and fosters inclusive growth.

Designating Pagadian City as the regional government center and Zamboanga City as the commercial and industrial center of the Zamboanga Peninsula is consistent with the 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda of his administration to accelerate rural development, as well as the development strategy espoused in the Regional Spatial Development Framework 2016 to 2045 approved by NEDA Regional Development Council (RDC) IX, the President noted.

“The remaining regional offices of all departments and agencies of the National Government in Region IX situated in Zamboanga City, or wherever they are currently located, are hereby ordered to transfer to Pagadian City, except those of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Tourism (DOT), which shall remain in Zamboanga City, but shall establish presence in Pagadian City,” Section 2 of the memorandum stated.

Duterte directed the NEDA RDC to transfer the remaining agencies within two years from the effectivity of the Circular.

All departments, bureaus, agencies, and offices of the national government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, are directed to extend support, including technical and logistical assistance, in the implementation of MC 79.

In 1990, Executive Order (EO) 429 reorganized the administrative regions of Mindanao and designated Pagadian City as the regional government center and Zamboanga City as the commercial and industrial center to guarantee the effective delivery of the field services of government employees.

Pursuant to EO 429, MC 75 directed the transfer of all regional offices from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City, except the DTI, DOLE, and DOT in 2004.

But, in 2010, MC 11 imposed a moratorium on the transfer of regional offices from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City and directed that a study be conducted on the economic and social costs thereof.

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