THE Cebu Provincial Board approved a P1.9-billion supplemental budget, the Capitol’s first for this year, of which nearly 80 percent will be for a 20-storey new building.

Of the P1.9 billion approved yesterday, P1.5 billion will be the initial appropriation for the construction of the Cebu Provincial Resource Center.

About P54 million will be spent for the construction of a multi-level parking building behind the Palace of Justice.

The rest of the supplemental budget will cover other expenditures such as salaries for newly created positions in the Provincial Tourism Office and the Cebu Provincial Investment and Promotions Office; and the hiring of additional doctors for provincial hospitals.

Danilo Rodas, provincial budget officer, told reporters that with the approval of the first supplemental budget yesterday, the executive department also secured authority from the Provincial Board (PB) to proceed with the Provincial Resource Center.

Last week, Gov. Hilario Davide III signed an agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to borrow P1.5 billion for the construction of the 20-storey mixed use building.

The building will be constructed on the site where the old Bureau of Agricultural Extension (BaEx) and the old post office is located.

Rodas said that while an appropriation for the construction of the new building was secured, they still need the PB to ratify some documents. They also need opinions from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Monetary Board before the loan could be released to the Capitol.

As of yesterday, Rodas said they were still waiting for the bidding proceedings for the 20-storey building to begin.

The approved supplemental budget also includes P600,000 to demolish the old BaEx building.

Following approval from the Cebu City Office of the Building Official to start demolishing the building, the Capitol has also started inviting bidders for the demolition and clearing work.

Parking needs

The building is targeted to be completed within two years.

In a separate interview, Rodas said the proposed four-level parking building will be enough for personnel and clients of the executive and legislative departments.

He expects it to be realized before the end of the year.

Earlier, Governor Davide said that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will be transferred to the 20-storey building.

Rodas said the mixed-use building will have its own parking lot for its tenants and walk-in clients, and will have some commercial spaces as well.

“Actually, we had a P30-million allocation for a two-level parking (building) but it was updated to make it a four-level parking building,” Rodas said.

“Assuming there are interested bidders, the procurement will be finished in two months. If the bidding will be done in two months, the project may be completed before the end of the year,” Rodas said. (with EOB)