President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he has no objection to the plan of the Philippine Senate to construct its own building.
Duterte made this reaction in a press conference after he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from his “meaningful and productive” three-day trip from South Korea late Tuesday night.
“Well, they are occupying a place that is not their own. I think it’s owned by GSIS, I believe. I have no objection to that,” Duterte said.
Duterte, a former lawmaker, even suggested that the new Senate building should be more spacious and with a big parking lot.
“And if they can kind of (build) a more spacious environment, I suggest that, and even in the parking and the mobility,” he said.
Asked if he also supports to build a new Senate building at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Duterte replied: “Anywhere the Senate wants to build it, we will say Amen”.
On May 28, Senator Panfilo Lacson announced during a session that the Senate and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) have chosen Los Angeles-based AECOM to do the architectural design of the “iconic” Senate building.
Lacson, chairman of the Senate accounts committee, has said the construction of the Senate building at the BGC will start in January next year.
At present, the Senate spends PHP127 million annually for occupying some floors of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Finance Center in Pasay City.
The Senate transferred to the GSIS Building in 1996 and the total amount of rental fees for the GSIS building and parking space owned by the Social Security System (SSS) have reached PHP2.25 billion, according to Lacson.
In November last year, majority or 14 senators voted to relocate the Senate to Taguig while the others chose other places, including a 25-hectare lot in Antipolo City reportedly being offered “for free” by Mayor Casimiro Ynares III. PNA