P8M Rizal Park flagpole ‘not overpriced’
The new flagpole which will replace the old one at Rizal Park is “anything but overpriced” despite its eye-popping price tag of nearly P8 million.
“The project went through a bidding, there’s no overpricing or [anything] anomalous [about] that project,” Director Reynaldo Tagudando of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ National Capital Region said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
A photo of a billboard posted near the Rizal Monument containing all the project details—including its price tag of P7,865,425.03—went viral shortly after it came out on a social networking site, immediately earning the ire of netizens who described the allocated fund as exorbitant.
Tagudando, however, explained that the new flagpole would be taller and powered by a mechanized pulley.
According to him, the National Parks and Development Committee (NPDC) which oversees Luneta, had requested that the flagpole be restored to its original proposed height of 52 meters, or 150 feet.
“Right now, its height is 30 meters. If we will change its height, it follows that we will also change its base [and] its foundation because it will now have a different structure analysis,” he explained.
He said that they would also change the size of the pole which is divided into three segments and made of imported metal. “And instead of the existing manual pulley, we will change it to a mechanized pulley,” he added.
“These are just some of the reasons why the P8-million project cost is justified,” Tagudando told the Inquirer.
As for the old flagpole, it will be transferred to the Aquinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, upon the request of NDPC and the Department of Tourism.
Tagudando said they were eyeing the completion of the project before Dec. 30 in time for the commemoration of the death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.
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