HOUSE SOLONS BACK HALTING CONSTRUCTION OF NEW SENATE BUILDING

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House of Representatives on Wednesday supported the decision of Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero to suspend the construction of the upper chamber’s new building pending its review, criticizing the staggering P23 billion budget needed for its completion.

In a statement, members of the House’s so-called “Young Guns” pointed out the “escalating costs and potential waste of public funds” associated with the new Senate building in Taguig City.

READ: Escudero wants P23-billion new Senate building reviewed: Parang OA

“It is only prudent to scrutinize projects involving public funds. We owe it to our constituents to ensure every peso is spent wisely and effectively. This project is a prime example of why stringent checks and balances are essential. The significant cost overrun calls for a reassessment to protect our nation’s fiscal health,” 1-Rider Party-list Rep. Rodge Gutierrez said.

For his part, House Assistant Majority Leader and Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Jil Bongalon emphasized the importance of transparency, which he said was “crucial” in upholding public trust.

Meanwhile, Assistant Majority Leader and Zambales 1st District Rep. Jay Khonghun commended Escudero’s decision to ensure that the upper chamber’s project “aligns with the best interests of the Filipino people.”

“Public infrastructure projects should reflect prudent financial management. We must halt this project until a clear and transparent review can guarantee that the funds are used appropriately and for the benefit of all Filipinos,” he said.

“When public funds are misallocated, it undermines trust in our institutions and hampers our ability to address other critical needs. This situation demands immediate attention and corrective action,” Assistant Majority Leader and La Union 1st District Rep. Paolo Ortega added.

Earlier reports said the project’s budget was initially set at P8.9 billion but has already climbed to P13 billion with an additional P10 billion, bringing the total budget to P23 billion.

Upon learning about this, Escudero said last June 10 that he directed Senator Alan Cayetano – as head of the Senate committee on accounts – to suspend the payments and construction of the new building, pending review.

2024-06-12T12:59:13Z dg43tfdfdgfd