Cayetano explains delay in construction of new Senate building

Cayetano explains delay in construction of new Senate building

/ 07:22 PM June 12, 2024

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano bared the supposed reasons for the delay in the construction of the New Senate Building (NSB) in Taguig.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano —Senate PRIB file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano bared the supposed reasons for the delay in the construction of the New Senate Building (NSB) in Taguig.

In a letter sent to Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero dated June 7, but only shared to the media on Wednesday, Cayetano identified four major causes for the delay in the construction of the Senate’s new home.

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He said these include variation in the projects, procurement, the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Bureaucracy and its slow down order.

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READ: Cayetano: Cost review on Senate building backed by official reports

According to Cayetano, the NSB project, as observed by the Senate Coordinating Team, was riddled with deviations with the Terms of Reference (TOR) and variation orders.

“A sample among those deviations and variations [is] the lack waterproofing in the tiles as well as the failure to observe the proper ceiling heights This means that in implementing the project,theconstructor failed to follow technical specifications and the implementing agency, the DPWH, as the the project manager failed to question and call the attention of the contractor,” he said.

In terms of procurement, Cayetano said DPWH has procured items not yet for implementation. There were also items not yet procured but already needed for implementation.

“Also, SCT has observed several times that materials shown by the DPWH for approval to the Senators for procurement were way beyond the indicated budget for such materials. As such, the materials were always rejected,” he added.

Apart from these, he likewise pointed out that the DPWH has issued a “slow down order” since payments were not yet made for some variation orders.

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“This has placed the Senate in a difficult position where it has to choose between paying for the contractor’s/DPWH’s mistake in order to gain time or withhold payment in order to compel the rectification but at the cost of timeliness,” he said.

Construction may still continue

Meanwhile, in a Facebook live on Wednesday afternoon, Cayetano explained that the construction of NSB may still continue despite the Senate panel on accounts’ review of the building’s cost.

“So let me clarify this part kasi napanood ko rin yung news kagabi na may taga-DPWH na nagsasabi nga na wala pang order na itigil. Yung sinasabi po sa news na phase 1 and phase 2 ito po yung na-bid up, ito po ay ongoing, pwede naman po tuloy yung construction dyan na nire-review namin, wala pong conflict yun,” said Cayetano.

(So let me clarify this part because I also watched the news last night where someone from DPWH said that there is no order to stop it yet. What is being said in the news is that phase 1 and phase 2 are the ones that have been bid up, this is ongoing, the construction can continue there which we are reviewing, there is no conflict.)

“So we’re just looking at the documentation, we’re looking at yung mga why and what, pero tuloy-tuloy po ‘yan para walang delay,” he emphasized.

(So we’re just looking at the documentation, we’re looking at the whys and whats, but that’s continuous so there’s no delay.)

Phase 1 and Phase 2 covers the Core and Shell as well as the Fit-Out of the building. Cayetano said what the committee on accounts – which he heads – would review is the additional P10 billion needed that has yet to be procured.

“So eto po yung hinold. And I agree and support the decision of the Senate President and this will not cause delays because we have to find out kung tama ang amount at tama ang bibilhin at tama rin ang pagko-construct,” he explained.

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

(So it’s the one that’s  on hold. And I agree and support the decision of the Senate President and this will not cause delays because we have to find out if the amount is right and the purchase is right and the construction is also right.)

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Senate President Chiz Escudero earlier ordered the review of the supposedly ballooning cost of NSB. This, after he was informed by Cayetano about an apparent “dramatic increase” in the building’s construction cost from an initial budget of P8 billion to a projected P23.3 billion.

TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Senate, Taguig

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