Makati birthday cake still cheaper than commercial ones, says exec
MANILA, Philippines – The birthday cakes given to senior citizens in Makati City cost P300 and not P1,000 each, an official said in a statement Thursday.
“The figure cited by Mr. Bondal is totally false. Our documents will prove that and we will submit these documents to the Senate blue ribbon committee,” Eleno Mendoza, city administrator, said in debunking claims by lawyer Renato Bondal at a Senate inquiry Wednesday that the cakes and other projects implemented by Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Jun-Jun” Binay were overpriced.
Mendoza said the cakes were P306.75 each and were given to senior citizens celebrating their birthdays and wedding anniversaries.
Bondal, who ran and lost to Binay during the last elections, even compared the price of the Binay cakes with the more commercial ones.
Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, challenged Bondal to show documents and prove that the cakes were priced at P1,000 each.
“We would want to see Mr. Bondal show documents to prove his claim that the cakes were priced at P1,000. The city government has all the documents, and the purchases went through bidding as required by law,” Salgado said.
This new allegation, the spokesman said, only showed the “pattern of lies” being peddled by Bondal, starting with his claim that the construction of Makati City Hall II parking building was overpriced.
Binay has repeatedly denied the allegation, saying that the project was not a carpark but a “world-class” building.
Facing the Senate inquiry, Binay noted that his accuser used the data of the National Statistics Office (NSO), which he said “was not the final arbiter on overpricing.”
“The NSO data gives a general computation of ‘non-residential construction’ without differentiation. It is comparing apples and oranges. We pointed this out to show the unreliability of using these statistics to allege overpricing,” he said.
Binay also noted that no less than the NSO admitted that their data had limitations since its computations were based on approved building applications and documentary requirements, and not on actual construction cost.
“It will also be inaccurate and erroneous to compare private buildings in makati with the city hall building, or with other private buildings in the central business district, simply because building cost is determined among others by the type of building, the features of the building, and the type of soil on which the building is constructed,” the mayor added.
He said the overpricing allegations have been refuted in an investigation by the Commission on Audit in February in response to a request made by the complainants.
Binay and his father and namesake, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and others are facing plunder and graft charges over the controversial project.
Bondal: Cakes, other buildings also overpriced in Makati
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