Put up of Baguio City Hall Annex building deferred

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BAGUIO CITY  – The local government deferred the proposed construction of the 8-storey city hall annex building within a 1,500-square meter city-owned property in barangay Camp Allen following the heavy impact inflicted by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) 2019 global pandemic to the local economy.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that propriety dictates that it will be better for the local government to move the implementation of the multi-million project next year after the situation in the country will normalize.

However, he ordered the concerned offices to push through with the preliminary works such as the preparation of the designs, programs of work, among others, to ensure that the same will be ready in time for the conduct of the public bidding for the project.

The proposed construction of the modern city hall annex building within the area occupied by the Baguio Fire Department was provided an initial budget of P210 million from the 2019 annual budget of the local government and an additional P200 million from the 2020 appropriations of the city.

He stated that while it is true that the there should be big tickets that will contribute in bringing back the vibrance of the local economy from both the government and the private sectors, it will be prudent on the part of the local government to put on hold the programmed prosecution of the funded projects of the city.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña disclosed that coordination between the designers of the construction of the city hall annex building and the refurbishment of the main city hall building will proceed as scheduled even with the announced deferment of the project implementation so that all the issues and concerns that had been raised by the concerned departments will be addressed in the final project details.

Earlier, the local government awarded the preparation of the architectural design of the city hall annex building and the design of the refurbishment of the city hall main building to separate designers who are now working double time to finalize the same and present their final output to the concerned departments prior to the conduct of the public bidding for the said vital locally funded infrastructure projects.

From a P410 million estimated cost for the put up of the city hall annex building, the project cost increased to over P800 million following the adjustments that were done by the present administration when it took over the helm of the local government last year purposely to improve the previous design for it to conform with the improving state of the city.

The proposed construction of the multi-storey city hall annex building that will have an underground walkway connecting the same to the main city hall building was included as one of the priority developments projects of the local government under its annual investment plans since last year.

The lot where the city hall annex building will be rented is one of the titled properties of the local government located within the central business district area.

Photo by Armando M. Bolislis