By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Senate may move to its new home in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City by January 2021.
Lacson said this following a briefing of Committee on Accounts Wednesday with the five companies that will compete for the design of the new Senate building.
“Everything is on schedule. So we just hope when the third regular session of the 18th Congress opens, we won’t be here anymore, we won’t be renting anymore, and we’re already in our new site in Fort Bonifacio,” Lacson told reporters.
In a speech last month updating the Upper Chamber on the construction of the new Senate building, Lacson bared five companies that were shortlisted in their “Bagong Senado” design competition.
The five firms — AECOM, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Henning Larsen Architects, Leeser, and Aidea — were told to submit their conceptual designs on May 18, 2018.
The designs will be evaluated by a Technical Evaluation Committee composed of the Senate, Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and experts on architecture, interior design, environmental planners, as well as culture and arts.
Lacson said the new Senate building, must be “green, secure, functional, and iconic,” and “can take the Senate of the Philippines to the next 100 more years and beyond.”
The designs, also, should also be “flexible” especially with the planned shift to federalism that my increase the members of Senate when it turns to a parliament.
“They should be flexible kasi baka matuloy ang federalism and ang Senate baka mag-expand from the present 24 to 64-65 senators,”
Lacson said the construction of the new legislative building is expected to start on January 2019, and should finish by December 2020.
The Senate recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the BCDA to purchase 18,230 square meters of land at the Navy Village Property, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, for the latter’s relocation.
The government has alloted P1.5 billion for the relocation of the Senate under the 2018 General Appropriations Act.