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TURNING POINT: Unconscionable

Column Titles 2023 20230815 170141 0000

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 20 June)—Why would our honorable senators splurge on taxpayers’ money building a gargantuan structure to accommodate just 24 of them and their office staff, perhaps, thrice their number?

Have the good senators lost their moral compass? Have they lost their sense of balance and proportion?

Why would they need a building with four office towers, where each tower has 11 floors with fabulous entrances, plazas and landscaped area between them and 1,250 parking spaces?

The building which has an original budget of P8.9 billion would now, accordingly, cost P23 billion to complete.

Construction started in 2019 and was supposed to be completed in 2022 but for the pandemic. It is now estimated that the Tahanan ng Senado will be occupied by 2025.

Considering the many pressing needs of the country, the construction of the humongous and luxurious building is insensitive and immoral.

P23 billion has a long way in relocating and in building low cost shelters for suffering families in water-clogged communities resulting from government reclamation and major infrastructure projects, e.g., the Bulacan International Airport, and those in coastal areas that are dangerously threatened by rising sea waters due to global warming and climate change.

Or, the amount may be used as a subsidy for jeepney operators to modernize their units so as to remain in business in the light of the government mandatory transport modernization program.

P23 billion for a place to accommodate a few government servants is unconscionable. It’s not honorable. A building costing P3-5 billion may suffice their need.

The new Senate building exposes the twisted sense of grandeur of those we elected to lead us.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)

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