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Construction of P1.8-B City of Manila Hall of Justice finally underway

August 23, 2012 12:41pm

After years of squeezing themselves inside the Manila City Hall, judges and court employees may soon transfer to a a much larger, 30-storey building that they can finally call home, which Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio described as the "biggest, most modern, best equipped" hall of justice the Philippines has ever seen.

Carpio led the ground-breaking ceremony for the P1.83-billion Manila City Hall of Justice at the old Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) building along A. Villegas (formerly Arroceros) Street in Manila, near the Manila City Hall.

There had been at least eight groundbreaking rites for the Manila Hall of Justice, but construction never pushed through either because there was no lot for the construction or funding yet.

This time, however, Carpio assured that the structure will finally rise on the 10,818 square-meter lot, saying the title of the lot is now under the Supreme Court and that it has enough savings to pursue its construction.

"As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the Manila Hall of Justice will finally rise on this," Carpio said in his speech.

The money to be used in constructing the hall of justice is part of around P2.5 billion savings of the high court, intended for building not only a hall of justice in Manila but also court houses in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City. See related:

Carpio said after the groundbreaking ceremony, the next step would be to bid out the project and tap the Department of Public Works and Highways to help in erecting the structure. All in all, Carpio said, it would take two to three years before the hall of justice gets completed.

The planned hall of justice will house 120 courts, 16 more than the authorized courts in Manila.

"The Manila HOJ will not only be stately and imposing, it will be the biggest, most modern and best equipped HOJ in the country, bar none," Carpio said.

The groundbreaking ceremony came barely two months after Manila celebrated its 441st founding anniversary.

"Since we waited 441 years to build the Manila HOJ, we assure everyone, especially Mayor Alfredo Lim and other officials of the City of Manila, that we will build a Manila HOJ worthy of the more than four centuries of waiting time, a HOJ that the residents of Manila can truly be proud of," Carpio said.

"The Manila HOJ will be an architectural landmark among the public buildings in Manila. It will add to the rich architectural heritage of the capital city of the Republic," he added.

Apart from Lim, also in attendance during the groundbreaking ceremony were Supreme Court Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Justice Jose Perez, Justice Bienvenido Reyes, Manila Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Marino dela Cruz, Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Executive Judge Marlina Manuel, officials of the City of Manila, Manila trial court judges, and Supreme Court officials.

Asked in what way would the Manila Hall of Justice be "most modern and best equipped," Carpio said it would just be like the Angeles City Hall of Justice that was inaugurated just last month in Pampanga.

The Angeles City Hall of Justice boasts of eco-friendly architectural designs and updated communication facilities.

It is environment friendly in that its design maximizes the use of natural light and has a rainwater collection system, as well as houses a materials recovery facility for recycling and waste processing purposes.
 
Other features of the building are a holding room for detainees inside the court room, a multi-purpose hall, training  and meeting rooms, lounges for judges and  lawyers, and space for a clinic, library and nursery. — LBG, GMA News




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