SOME senators are pushing for a new home by 2020 in Taguig City.
Members of the Senate committee on accounts, led by Senator Panfilo Lacson, discussed three possible sites presented by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the Navy Village, the Diplomatic Consular area and the BHIT Park area.
According to BCDA president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon, some senators preferred the Navy Village but could not say how much the transfer would cost. The area in Navy Village was pegged at P85,000 per square meter.
Lacson said he wanted the proposed transfer to push through immediately, adding the proposal to move to a permanent site was first discussed 16 years ago.
The Senate is paying P170 million a year to use part of the Government Services Insurance System (GSIS) building in Pasay City.
“Ito na ang opportunity kasi nari-yan ang BCDA. Available ang site. Why don’t we just go for it? Right here, right now,” Lacson said.
Lacson said he would hold a caucus with his colleagues to discuss the transfer of the Senate offices.
“Hopefully, this year matapos namin and 2018 makapag-start ng cosntruction. And give or take two years, by 2020, naroon na tayong lahat kung buhay pa tayo pare-pareho,” Lacson said.
He said he would propose to the senators to allocate their P200-million submissions, a practice continued in the proposal of the national budget, for the construction of the building.
However, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said he had reservations over the proposal because of the administration’s move to shift to a federal system.
“How large will the Senate be after the change in the Constitution? It could range from a 48 to a 72-member Senate,” Pimentel said.
There are only 24 senators at present.