THE Pasig City government is no longer considering the idea of waiting for a new city hall to be constructed by 2025 as the present structure has shown signs of “instability” which requires drastic measures – immediate evacuation and transfer to a temporary city hall.
In his Facebook post, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto uploaded pictures (taken on Saturday, November 11) of the city hall’s eighth floor, which to the local chief executive looks more like an aftermath of an earthquake which did not even take place before the photo was taken.
According to Sotto, there were no people when he arrived at the city hall since it was a Saturday, but had it checked last Monday with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) whether or not an earthquake hit the eastern portion of Metro Manila.
He was however told that no significant seismic activity was recorded by Phivolcs covering the National Capital Region or even at the adjacent province of Rizal.
“This happened on the 8th floor of City Hall this morning. Walang earthquake, walang tao. Perhaps suggestive of the structural issues I discussed last time, the local chief executive wrote on his social media wall.
Safety Above All
As a matter of safety, Sotto said that the city government is seriously considering immediate relocation to a temporary city hall – “Para lang din alam niyo kung bakit tayo nagmamadali lumipat sa isang temporary City Hall,” he added.
Asked as to when they intend to relocate, the local chief executive disclosed that they are already in the final stages of sealing a lease contract for an entire building, even as he cited the need for an inventory as provided for under the implementing rules of the Commission on Audit (COA).
“So far, we are on track with our target for move-out by July (2024). Currently, we are finalizing the contract for lease. Ang pinakamalapit kung saan puwede tayong mag-lease ng buong building na walang ibang tenant at pasok sa needs ng City Hall natin ay sa Pasig side ng Bridgetowne- Amang Rodriguez, Barangay Rosario malapit lang din sa Ortigas Avenue,” he further averred.
He however clarified that the city government would construct makeshift structures at the city hall complex for some of the city government offices – “Kailangan din natin magtayo ng mga temporary facilities for services that must remain within the poblacion area… may maiiwan sa City Hall Compound gaya ng health services.”
Not structurally sound
Sometime in July, Vico made an announcement regarding the impending construction of a new city hall as the existing one is no longer structurally sound.
“Ang city hall natin, ang apat na building na bumubuo ng city hall ay structurally unsound,” he told his constituents during the event.
The city government tapped a consultant to look into the issue. The findings showed that 62 columns and 451 girders and beams of the city hall are “structurally inadequate.”
Sotto also said that some parts of the city hall sustained cracks and liquefaction even before he sat as mayor.
The local chief executive said he consulted with more than two dozen engineers and architects, and no one recommended retrofitting the city hall. Hence, the city government will be building a new one, he added.
Sotto said he is envisioning a city hall that has a playground, evacuation center, senior citizen center, and mega market, among others.
The whole construction may take 10 years to be completed, but the city hall itself may be built in two years, he noted.
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