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Dominguez slams construction of new DOF, NEDA buildings

Department of Finance (DOF) (Photo courtesy of Edgar Dann Alcantara/ Sheena Thea Alcantara via Wikimedia Commons)

Department of Finance (DOF) (Photo courtesy of Edgar Dann Alcantara/ Sheena Thea Alcantara via Wikimedia Commons)

 

The construction of new office buildings for the Department of Finance (DOF) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) will be put on hold under the administration of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Incoming Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the construction of P7.2 billion new office buildings for the two government agencies are “skewed priorities” amidst a myriad of problems ordinary Filipinos are facing, particularly in “Yolanda” affected areas.

“This is an example of skewed priorities when a lot of Yolanda survivors still don’t have a roof over their heads,” Dominguez said in a statement.

For this reason, Dominguez said the next administration will have to rethink the projects before the bidding for construction commences.

Under incumbent administration, the DOF earmarked P4.5 billion for the 20-story office building inside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas complex in Manila. The design contract has already been awarded to the architectural firm of Felino Palafox Jr.

The DOF targets to complete the project in two years, which also has a multi-year obligational authority (MYOA) from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to ensure availability of funds on succeeding budgets of the government.

Under the plan, the new office will house the Office of the Secretary as well as those of the commissioners of Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs.

It will also house a cash management system for the Bureau of the Treasury as well as the DOF’s IT services.
Dominguez has also expressed reservations on the construction of another new building for NEDA, which has already been allotted P20 million to cover its design and engineering study.

A MYOA has also been already issued for the new central office of NEDA. The budget department said the P2.68-billion building will be constructed from 2017 to 2020.

“The proposed project [involves] construction of a modern 15-story office building that will house some 999 employees of the NEDA central office as well as attached agencies,” DBM said in a statement.

NEDA oversees the Public-Private Partnership Center, Tariff Commission and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

Funds for construction will be allocated beginning 2017 with P573.9 million. This will rise to P592.9 million in 2018, P747.7 million in 2019 and P769.4 million in 2020.

The current NEDA central office is located in Ortigas in Pasig City.