THE price of the Makati City hall building 2 is comparable with other government building projects, an executive of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., the contractor for the P2.2 billion building project, said on Thursday.
Testifying at the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the controversial office and parking building, Rogelio Peig, Hillmarc’s assistant vice president for legal affairs, said the construction cost of the 11-story building is not far from that of some public buildings that his company built.
Peig said Hillmarc was involved in the construction of some of the country’s landmarks including the SM Mall of Asia, Rockwell, GMA building and Asian Hospital.
Hillmarc’s public construction projects include the House of Representatives, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Sandiganbayan, and Quezon City Museum.
Based on data presented by Hilmarc, the Makati building averaged P69,549.92 per square meter (sq.m.). By comparison, the House annex Building or the Mitra Building had a contract price of P462 million and was constructed in 1998 at an average cost of P38,000 per square meter, Peig said.
He said if the Mitra building was constructed at the same time as the Makati City hall building 2 was built, the structure would have averaged P74,000 per square meter.
The south lounge extension of the House building cost P65,000 per square meter, and that north lounge P67,000 per square meter, he said.
Peig also said the Sandiganbayan building averaged P31,000 per sq.m. in 1998.
“So if we adjust that price based on the time the Makati building was constructed, the Sandiganbayan building will cost P61,000 per sq.m.,” he said.
The Calamba City hall which was built in 2002, at an average cost of P31,000 per sq.m. would cost around P65,000 per sq.m using the current index price of the National Statistics Office (NSO), Peig said.
He said the cost of the other public buildings he mentioned does not include pile foundation which the Makati City hall building 2 has. If the cost of the bored piling is added, those buildings would cost P8,000 more per sq.meter.
“And if we will add the additional cost to the Calamba City hall, the cost will increase to P73,000 per sq.m.,” he said.
Answering earlier claims that the Makati building is more expensive than privately owned condominium buildings, Peig said the difference in the price of government funded structures and privately constructed building comes from different procurement methods.
Mario Hechanova, the former head of the General Services Department of Makati City and a member of the Bids and Awards Committee, claimed that most of the bidding process during his time were rigged to favor the Binays’ friends and allies.
Hechanova denied receiving “cuts” from the projects that were bid out, although he admitted that the committee received a P200,000 monthly allowance from then Mayor Jejomar Binay.
Asked by Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito if Hechanova received the allowance directly from Binay, Hechanova said it was given to them by the former city engineer Nelson Morales.
Hechanova once again linked Sen. Nancy Binay to the supply and delivery of birthday cakes for Makati’s senior citizens, saying the Vice President even followed up the payment for the cakes.
But the senator challenged Hechanova to present proof of her involvement in the supply of cakes.