Capitol Resource Center project not a priority – Gwen Garcia

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo May 15,2019 - 05:52 PM

An artist’s rendition of the proposed Capitol Resource Center. | file photo from the Capitol PIO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The implementation of the proposed Capitol Resource Center is not part of the priorities of the Garcia administration.

Governor-elect and outgoing third district Representative Gwendolyn Garcia said she will have the P1.3 billion project reviewed as soon as she assumes office on June 30.

In an interview Tuesday night, May 14, Garcia said that the project is “not part of her program of government” since she “never agreed to it.”

“I did not agree with that (project) and  in fact, I already filed a case against it and that (pursuing the case) will be (among) my topmost priorities,” said Garcia.

Garcia, in March 2019 , filed an injunction case before the court in Toledo City to prevent project implementation in a portion of the Capitol compound.

On May 8, 2019,  she also filed criminal and administrative complaints against outgoing Governor Hilario Davide III, other Capitol officials, project contractor WT Construction Inc., and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

The Davide administration availed of a P1.3 billion loan with DBP to fund the project implementation.

“First of all, we are not going to take out a loan. I have maintained the province debt-free during my term. All of these will be reviewed,” Garcia said.

Heritage advocates here also oppose the project’s implementation.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) earlier asked the Capitol to submit a new development plan because of a concern raised that the resource center, with its skyscraper and modern design, will destroy the façade of the main Capitol building, a national heritage site.

Jose Eleazar “Jobers” Bersales, an anthropology and heritage expert in Cebu, said the heritage advocate community is relieved with the prospect that the resource center project will already be halted.

Nalipay gyud mi nga nidaog siya (Garcia) kay di na madayon. Daghan man nag violations nga building…It’s dead on its tracks,” Bersales said.

Bersales said that aside from “violations of heritage laws,” the project development also “failed” to get an archaeological assessment which is needed before the contractor should have undertaken any excavation./dcb

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