P515-M legislative building targeted to finish before midterm elections

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez shows the perspective of the P515-million legislative building that will soon rise at the back of the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) during a press briefing following the groundbreaking of the said project Monday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The local government here has started the implementation of the four-story legislative building project following its groundbreaking at the back of the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) yesterday.

City officials led by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and City Engineer Loben Raphael Ceballos led the groundbreaking rites of the building as a signal to start the 18-month contract period of the said project.

Ceballos said the contractor will conduct preliminary activities after the groundbreaking, as the city is eyeing to complete the project before the midterm elections in 2025.

Ceballos said that offices from the existing BCGC building that will be transferred to the legislative building are the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), Office of the Building Official (OBO), City Engineering Office (CEO), Bacolod Housing Authority (BHA), and other offices needed to be placed at the ground floor to enable clients to transact conveniently in the government.

The session hall of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) will be moved to the third floor of the legislative building, while a conference room will be situated on the building’s roof deck.

Currently, these offices are located on the second and third floors of the BCGC building.

The budget for the said project amounting to P515 million was sourced from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which is among the priority projects funded by the P4.4-billion loan by the local government.

Ceballos said the design of the legislative building is hybrid and is incorporated with green design, which means it is environment-friendly and sustainable.

It also has a provision for solar panels, a rainwater collection system, and has a special feature as a two-district-ready structure, he added.

Meanwhile, Benitez said that they are also planning to convert the football field at the back of the BCGC into a parking space.

The city government issued the notice of award to the Manila-based contractor Legacy Construction Corporation/M.K.U. Construction and Supply on September 20 and the contractor reaffirmed its intention and willingness to undertake the design and build project on October 12. However, it was postponed due to the celebration of the MassKara Festival.

On November 8, the SP received Benitez’s letter requesting the authority to sign and a copy of the proposed contract.

The BCGC building, which is a three-story structure, has been existing for 15 years now. It is situated on a five-hectare lot along the Circumferential Road in Barangay Villamonte and has a budget of P394 million. The construction began in 2006 and was completed on August 8, 2008.

The birth of the legislative building came after the city saw the need to expand and build a new building to accommodate other offices.

Aside from the legislative building project, Benitez said the city is also eyeing to start the construction of infirmaries or mini hospitals, the new Burgos Public Market, City Health Office (CHO), Command Center, Bacolod warehouse, and Engineering Motorpool Area, among others, by next year.