Aim of review is to ensure New Senate Building will be an iconic symbol of democracy — Sen. Alan

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday stressed that the independent review on the New Senate Building aims to ensure that the structure would be “an iconic symbol of democracy” that fosters pride and ownership among Filipinos.

“First and foremost, sadya akong hindi nagpapa-interview because it’s a review and a fact-finding [activity]. I’d rather not comment until all the facts are in,” he said in his first media interview about the NSB on June 21, 2024 in the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna.

“Ang objective ay magkaroon tayo ng iconic na functional building na magiging simbolo ng demokrasya para ma-feel ng mga tao na sa kanila ito,” he added.

As the chairperson of the Committee on Accounts (CA), Cayetano revealed that two concurrent reviews are ongoing: one focusing on the first and second phases of the project and the other scrutinizing the third phase, which requires an additional P10 billion.

“Sa Phase 1 and 2 na ongoing na ating itinatanong kung bakit maraming pagbabago at bakit ganoon ang presyo. Pero ongoing iyon at hindi tinitigil kasi pwede ka namang mag-review habang ginagawa,” he said.

“Doon sa P10 billion na sumunod (Phase 3), tinitingnan natin kung ‘can you give the same quality [with lower costing].’ So ang objective ng Senate President, and I would assume ng whole Senate, nandoon pa rin yung quality, secure pa rin y’ung building, pero ‘wag ganoon kalaki ang gastos,” he added.

Cayetano said there are “two ways to hide the facts” from the public: “One is walang ibigay, pangalawa ay magbigay ng isang buong kwarto na puno ng dokumento. ‘Pag walang binigay, wala tayong malalaman. ‘Pag isang buong kwarto ng dokumento, hindi natin malalaman kung ano doon ang latest at valid.”

Cayetano said the DPWH and a Senate coordinating group, including those from former CA chairs Senator Nancy Binay and former Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, have been briefing him and the Senate President.

He said he also provided them with “additional instructions” for clearer project insights.

“I gave them additional instructions na gumawa sila ng timeline at ibigay nila lahat. In that way, we can be transparent to you. At least maibigay namin sa inyo y’ung timeline, inventory, o table of contents,” he said.

Cayetano gave assurance that all questions would be answered following the factual and independent review process.

“Eventually, magkakaroon ng face-to-face na briefing and question-and-answer [para maging klaro lahat] ‘yan,” he said.


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