CEBU PROVINCIAL RESOURCE CENTER: A GATEWAY TO BETTER SERVICES
WITH the construction of the proposed Resource Center to break ground on Monday, Feb. 18, services of Cebu Provincial Government’s frontline offices and national line agencies are seen to improve further once the 20-storey edifice is completed.
The modern edifice will be built at the old Bureau of Agricultural Extension (BAEX) located at the rightmost portion of the Capitol Compound, which has been deemed unsafe for occupancy after it was destroyed by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the Visayas in 2013.
At present, the Cebu Provincial Government has a workforce of more than 3,700 personnel, including the 16 Capitol-run hospitals, compared to its size 50 years ago. As more spaces become a necessity, Capitol officials pursued the construction of the project to decongest the main building.
In 2018, a supplemental budget for the construction of the Resource Center was approved by the Provincial Board (PB). Last month, the PB also passed the ordinance allowing Davide to enter into a loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines for the project.
As the new home to Capitol’s frontline offices, the building will have commercial spaces available for lease to help pay for the loan. Once the Capitol recoups the cost of construction, the revenues will be used for the Province’s future projects.
In 2008, the 80-year-old Capitol building was declared a national historical landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), which the administration of Gov. Hilario P. Davide III is committed to preserve.
Despite his assurance, apprehensions were raised that the new building might affect the panoramic view of the Capitol.
In compliance with the recommendation of the NHCP, the Cebu Provincial Government conducted a public consultation on the proposed project on May 16 last year, inviting civil society, historical and cultural groups, and the community to hear out their views.
Archt. Michael Torres of the AS Enriquez Engineering Consultancy Services (ASEEC), the firm that designed the building, assured that the place where the edifice will be erected will not obstruct the view since it will be aligned with the Capitol main building.
“The building would be setback to more than 20 meters from the road so as not to impede the view of the Capitol. The setback will be a landscaped park area,” Torres said.
With the 20-meter buffer zone, Torres said that if one would take a look at the alignment from Osmeña Blvd., it becomes symmetrical because the structure is located in the center.
In other countries, new developments were introduced side-by-side with old structures, such as the old City Hall of Toronto with Eaton Tower at the background; the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York beside the Olympic Tower; the old Supreme Court of Singapore with Northbridge Tower behind it.
Once completed, the Resource Center will set up a one-stop shop for Capitol’s frontline offices, as well as national line agencies. This will fast-track the delivery of services to an estimated 1,000 clients a day who will no longer transfer from one building to another.
Capitol officials assured the Cebuanos and the taxpayers that they will not bear the brunt of paying the loan.
Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas said that within the 10-year period, the Capitol would be able to pay the loan and interests as the project is economically viable.
Adopting an eco-friendly design to efficiently use energy, reduce waste, and beat pollution, provide adequate ventilation and an air-filtration system, the building will be loaded with solar panels and an in-house waste and sewage management facility.
“There’s a water harvesting facility that’s being provided on this building both for the rainwater, as well as from the cistern tanks coming from the local MCWD (Metro Cebu Water District) supply,” Torres said.
Double-glazed curtain wall will be installed to address the heat, as well as to save on the mechanical cost.
One floor will also be dedicated for the Emergency Operation Center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) with state-of-the-art equipment for province-wide monitoring of early warning system for natural calamities. The building will have a built-in accelerometer that measures seismic activity caused by earthquakes.
Convenient access and walkways for persons with disabilities will also be put in place coupled with nursing stations for breastfeeding mothers. (www.cebu.gov.ph)