Senate to review increased budget for its new building

Senate to review increased budget for its new building

EXPECT a delay of one to two years in the relocation of employees to the new Senate building in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Moving to the new Senate building won’t happen in 2024 or 2025. According to Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero, it might take even longer as all expenses need to be scrutinized.

In a press conference, Escudero expressed surprise at the ballooning costs for the building. It was initially priced at 8.9 billion pesos during bidding but has now reached 23 billion pesos.

“I am just astounded, it’s shocking and distasteful that the Senate would spend this much on our new home and office. With the number of bills being brought to me for signing, I want to examine and thoroughly review if this is really necessary, appropriate, and how we can reduce it because I’m sure this won’t sit well with many of our fellow citizens,” said Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senate President.

As a result, the Committee on Accounts led by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will review all expenses related to the building. However, Cayetano emphasized that this is not an investigation and no accusations are being made.

“I didn’t see any irregularity. I was just taken aback by the amount. Isn’t 13 billion shocking enough? Then 23 [billion] for just an office is even more shocking,” added Escudero.

Construction on the building continues but with a “slow down” order due to some plans not being followed and needing adjustments. Escudero has given instructions to Cayetano on what needs to be done.

As chairman of the Committee on Accounts, Cayetano is responsible for the smooth transition to their new home. Cayetano suggests involving the Department of Public Works and Highways to act as project manager to coordinate with the contractor, Hillmarc’s Construction Corporation.

The senator also advises hiring a third-party construction management team to assess whether the project is being carried out correctly at the right price.


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