DPWH: NSB total project cost could balloon to P25 to P27B

DPWH: NSB total project cost could balloon from P25B to P27B

/ 12:49 AM July 11, 2024

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano presides over the Senate hearing of the Committee on Accounts on the new Senate Building Project in Taguig City. —Inquirer photo/Niño Jesus Orbeta

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) disclosed on Wednesday that the total project cost of the New Senate Building (NSB) in Taguig could balloon from P25 billion to P27 billion considering the inflation rate.

It was DPWH Assistant Secretary Antonio Molano Jr. who confirmed the matter before the Senate panel on accounts during the second public hearing on the NSB.


“It could reach P25 to P27 billion, including the cost of land plus the inflationary cost,” Molano told senators after he was asked about the updated estimated cost of the establishment.


READ: Nancy Binay files ethics rap vs Alan Cayetano: ‘I can’t let it pass anymore’

Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino, who was also present during the hearing, clarified whether or not it’s true that the building’s cost is estimated to reach between P25 and P27 billion.

“So we’re now talking of a figure higher than the previously disagreed upon figure of between P21 [and] P23 and now we’re settling—we have settled down to the figure of P25 to P27? Is this confirmed?” asked Tolentino, to which Molano answered affirmatively.

Panel head Sen. Alan Cayetano, meanwhile, provided a breakdown of the total budgetary cost and the implications of applying a “conservative 20 percent inflationary cost” increase as referenced by the DPWH.

Cayetano shared that NSB’s Phase 1’s cost has increased from P8.067 to P8.6 bullion due to variation orders. He said Phase 2’s budgetary cost estimate is P2.375 billion with potential increases, while Phase 3’s P10.33 billion cost is currently under review.

Cayetano and Sen. Nancy Binay—his predecessor in heading the panel on accounts—earlier traded barbs over the supposedly ballooning cost of NSB.


Cayetano previously insisted that the building’s cost would total a whopping P23 billion. Binay, on the other hand, cited the DPWH’s data, pointing out that the establishment only costs around P21 billion.

This pronouncement prompted Cayetano to claim that Binay was disrupting the first public hearing on NSB.

“Do you want to help or do you only want to disrupt this?” asked Cayetano then.

The heated exchange resulted in name-calling, personal attacks, and accusations, leading to claims that Binay was providing questions to some media practitioners to discredit her fellow senators.

Cayetano even reminded Binay that her first name is Lourdes and not Marites—a term widely used in the Philippines to describe gossipmongers.

Binay, for her part, walked out of the hearing after she got the DPWH to categorically state that the cost of NSB is only P21 billion and not P23 billion.

Cayetano initially told Senate President Chiz Escudero that there was a supposed “dramatic increase” in NSB’s budget from an initial P8 billion to a projected P23.3 billion.

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Escudero subsequently ordered a review of NSB’s budget.

TAGS: DPWH, Senate, Taguig City

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