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Firm behind ‘overpriced’ Makati City Hall 2 to build new Senate

The builder of the controversial Makati City Hall Building II has been chosen as the contractor of the new Senate building set to rise at the Philippine Navy Village in Taguig, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Monday.

A notice of award dated February 12, 2019 and posted on the DPWH website showed the design and build contract was given to Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation for being the “bidder with the single calculated and responsive bid with a total contract price equivalent to P8,067,000,000.”

“I don’t want to say it’s a blessing in disguise, but during the bidding, kasi walo ang unang nag-bid, and then sila ang nanalo,” he said.

Lacson said Hilmarc’s wanted to redeem their name which was dragged in the controversy when the Senate in 2014 to 2016 investigated the allegations of corruption against then Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The city hall building constructed by Hilmarc's was allegedly overpriced at P2.28 billion.

“In the course of discussions how to go about the construction, sabi nila ito ang pagkakataon namin to redeem our name because their name was sullied somewhat during the Senate hearings," Lacson said.

"And maybe it’s a paradox of sorts na Senate building ang gagawin nila. So they have committed and they are swearing to the fact that ito talagang aayusin nila,” he added.

He said he told Hilmarc’s, in the presence of DPWH officials, that the Senate would not require them anything except to make good their job.

“Ang bilin ko lang sa kanila and even in the presence of DPWH officials, sabi ko, wala kaming ibang requirements dito except ayusin n'yo ang trabaho. Walang ibang requirements. And I also told DPWH that,” Lacson said.

“What we’re after is a Senate building that we can call our own which is iconic, secure, and functional. We’ll be there every step of the way. Sinabi rin namin sa kanila babantayan namin ‘yan. So it can even take them less than the designated timelines na sinabi nila,” he added.

Architectural firm AECOM Philippines will undertake the detailed architectural design of the project upon successful selection of the design and build contractor by the DPWH for the development of the new Senate building.

It was earlier declared the winner after review and evaluation conducted by the Technical Evaluation Committee, BCDA officials, senators of the 17th Congress, and the Senate community.

Through a survey conducted within the Senate community on September 19, 2017 and the adoption of Resolution 293, filed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, an 18,320 square meter parcel of land owned by the BCDA, located at the Navy Village in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, was chosen as the site for the construction of the new Senate building.

Based on the DPWH evaluation, the construction of the building will take 40 months, starting this 2019 until 2022.

However, the Senate can start using the building by 2021.

“Ang date ng transfer namin, to start holding our sessions July of 2021. In other words, ang third regular session of the 18th Congress dito na mag-open. Of course three towers mauuna, the last tower, the fourth tower, naroon ang structure. Ang fit-out ihahabol but the fourth tower will not affect the functions of the Senate simply because ‘yan ang pang-concession. Pwede pa-rent out sa CA (Commission on Appointments), SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) and the like,” said Lacson. —NB, GMA News