No choice but to tear down old PNB building, says Erap
MANILA Mayor Joseph Estrada has defended the ongoing demolition of the 50-year-old Philippine National Bank (PNB) building on Escolta Street, citing safety concerns.
According to Estrada, the decision to tear down the building designed by renowned architect Carlos Arguelles in the 1960s was made after it was struck by a fire in January 2015.
“It was burned so how can it be restored? It’s a building endangering the lives of the people passing by the area,” Estrada told reporters.
He said that the idea of tearing down the building first came up in 2010 during the time of then Mayor Alfredo Lim. A developer, Romy Lorenzo of Geltd Developers and Managers Group Inc., claimed that the 12-story structure was in danger of collapsing should an earthquake hit the city.
Robert Bernardo, chief of the city’s engineering office, said that demolishing the building never crossed the minds of Manila officials until last year’s fire. The blaze, however, has weakened its foundation, leaving them no choice but to tear it down, he added.
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