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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order (EO) that establishes a National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac, to serve as an integrated government center outside Metro Manila in the event of a national calamity.

EO 119, signed last November 17, directs all departments, bureaus, offices and agencies under the Executive Branch to establish satellite or field offices at the NGAC in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

“The establishment of a back-up government center outside the National Capital Region supports the policy of addressing longstanding issues on the lack of sustainable employment opportunities in the countryside, unbalanced regional development, and unequal distribution of wealth,” said Duterte.

Concerned offices must formulate and adopt appropriate business continuity and financial plans, including the operationalization of their respective back-up offices in case a disaster hits the capital region, his latest directive said.

Government-owned or -controlled corporations, legislative and judicial branches of government, and other independent constitutional bodies may also locate satellite or field offices there.

Section 2 of the Order states that, the establishment of satellite or field offices shall be done in phases and clusters to be determined by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, in coordination with the concerned offices.

Those which already have an existing regional, field or satellite office within the vicinity of or proximate to the New Clark City may transfer their regional office at the NGAC, it furthered.

Duterte tasked the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to assist concerned government agencies in securing advantageous, cost-efficient and flexible logistical and financial arrangements relative to the establishment of their respective satellite or field offices.

“The establishment of integrated government centers fosters ease of doing business, provides equal access to efficient and effective delivery of public services, and serves as a catalyst for the creation of new economic opportunities outside the NCR, through the development of new townships and commercial business districts,” the chief executive said.

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