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Coconut Palace eyed as Binay's office, residence

Will Coconut Palace be the official residence of Vice President Jejomar Binay? The answer will be known in four months. Lawyer JV Bautista, Binay’s spokesperson, said the Coconut Palace is being duly considered as the office and official residence of the country’s vice president. The venue was offered by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III during their meeting at the latter’s Times Street residence days before the June 30 inauguration, Bautista said. “We will determine its suitability as residence when its renovation would have been completed in about four months time," Bautista said in a text message to GMANews.TV. The renovation of Coconut Palace started sometime in June, said Marlon del Rosario, an administrative staff of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), which is assigned to oversee the work. The Coconut Palace is located at the CCP Complex in Pasay City near the Folk Arts Theater. It was built in 1978 and made of several types of Philippine hardwood, coconut shells, and a specially engineered coconut lumber apparently known as Imelda Madera. Asked if they are preparing the place for Binay, Del Rosario said he was not sure but the vice president’s wife, Mrs Elenita Binay, visited the place last Tuesday. “Hindi namin sure pero inaayos ng GSIS ito. Nire-restore yung mga gamit. Hanggang September pa siguro ito," he told GMANews.TV over the phone. Binay is currently holding office at the PNB Building at the President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City. The OVP should be given more dignity and respect and so must have its own office and residence, Binay said. - RJAB Jr/KBK, GMAnews.TV