By Mario B. Casayuran
There will be a “Parliament Building” and it will be an iconic landmark in the Philippines that would make every Filipino stand proud.
This is how Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, who chairs the Senate Accounts Committee, envisions the future permanent house of Congress which may be built at the world-class Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Makati City.
“In fact we’re planning to launch a competition among the top architects to do the conceptual design of a high-rise building. It will be world-class, iconic,” Lacson said.
The senator said it will be an imposing structure that which when you see, you will know it is a national landmark “in the mold of the Sydney Opera House in Australia or the 1987 Eiffel Tower in Paris.”
In fact, representatives from the Senate led by Lacson and the House of Representatives have voted on a iconic design by the state-owned Bonifacio Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) at the BGC, he said.
The Senate and the BCDA have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the planned Senate transfer to the BGC where the Supreme Court (SC) also plans to relocate.
But this was before the Antipolo City government offered to donate 25 hectares in a 32-hectare lot as a future site for the Senate. The proposed site overlooks the National Capital Region (NCR).
“We are looking at it. Definitely, we are almost determined to transfer. After all, nagre-rent kami dito and we’re renting this for P127 million to P129 million a year (After all, we are renting this place at P127 million to P129 million annually),” Lacson said.
He was referring to the current six-story Senate building that occupies the southwest portion of the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) complex in Pasay city.
The old Senate transferred to the GSIS complex from the old Congress building near Manila City Hall and the former Department of Finance (DPF) building in Manila in 1997.
“Ang tinitignan natin vine-vet natin ngayon ano ba mas practical. Remember, Antipolo is a raw land. How long will it be developed? We need power and water lines, utilities. Then the infrastructure has to be developed. We are looking at these things (We are weighing the pros and cons on which of the two proposed is more practical.),” he said.
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