The Senate's planned relocation to its new building on Chino Roces extension, Barangay Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City will be further delayed.

News Image #1

(Photo by Dexter Terante)

This follows the shocking revelation by Senate President Francis Escudero concerning the cost of the new Senate building, during a flag-raising ceremony held yesterday, Monday, at its current office in the GSIS Building, Pasay City.

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(Photo from the Senate of the Philippines)

Escudero disclosed that the budget for the construction, originally earmarked at P8.9 billion, has escalated to P13 billion. Furthermore, he stressed an additional P10 billion is required to complete the project. This implies that the total expenditure on the new Senate building will reach P23 billion.

In response to this, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the current head of the Senate committee on accounts, has ordered a halt to payments and construction of the New Senate Building while it's being reassessed.

According to Escudero, the promise made by the previous administration to commence the move to the new building in Taguig City before the end of this year will not materialize.

"I don't think it will even happen by 2025 because there's still a lot that needs to be prepared, and many things we've noticed that need further investigation and study. I was startled and surprised. I did not expect the cost for our future home to reach such an amount," said the new Senate president.

Escudero clarified that he is not suggesting there is any irregularity or questionable issue regarding the amount requested for the construction of the new Senate building. He was merely shocked at the enormous expense for their new building, especially given the country's current economic crisis.

AECOM designed the green building while the construction was awarded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to Hilmarc Construction Corporation.

Previously, Senator Nancy Binay, former head of the Committee on Accounts, stated that they aimed to have the new Senate building partially operational by January 2025.