By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The groundbreaking ceremony of the P8.5-billion new Senate building in Taguig City was held Monday, signaling the start of the construction of the four-tower, 11-story complex in the Philippine Navy Village in Fort Bonifacio.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III led the ceremony. Participating in the ceremony were Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Panfilo Lacson, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda, and Joel Villanueva.
also participated in the groundbreaking rites.
Attending the event were Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president Vince Dizon, Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Roberto Bernardo, and Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano.
The DPWH said the construction project is expected to take 40 months, starting this month until July 2022.
Lacson, who chairs the Committee on Accounts handling the planned transfer of the Senate from Pasay City to Taguig, said he hopes that senators could move to their new office in 2021, in time for the opening of the third regular session of 18th Congress.
The new Senate building will rise over an 18,320-square-meter lot within the Navy Village. It also forms part of the planned Bonifacio South Pointe development, where other government buildings, such as the Court of Appeals, will be erected.
Designed by AECOM Philippines, the winner in last year’s design competition for the project, the Barong Filipino-inspired building signifies the “resiliency, modernity and progress,” said Bernardo, who represented DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.
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