Update on the Senate’s Relocation | May 21, 2018

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, as the chairman of your Committee on Accounts, I have the honor and privilege to give you an account of our progress on the construction and relocation of the new home for the Philippine Senate, as articulated in Senate Resolution No. 293 filed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and adopted by this august chamber on November 21, 2017.

Sponsorship Speech on the Senate’s Relocation
At a Glance: The Process of the Senate’s Relocation
Update on the Senate’s Relocation as of March 20, 2018

It has only been six months since then, but through and through, we have made significant milestones. In fact, we are moving forward to the acquisition of the 18,320-square meter parcel of land at the Navy Village, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. After a thorough review, the Contract to Sell has already been finalized and submitted for approval of the Senate President.

Even as we pursue with the project planning and land acquisition, we also launched the Global Conceptual Design Competition with the theme: Bagong Senado sa Ikalawang Siglo, where a total of 40 local and international firms expressed their interest to participate.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, we have already concluded Stage 1 of our Conceptual Design Competition when the Selection Panel convened on March 20 of this year to shortlist five technically competent firms that would come up with their respective conceptual designs of the Senate building.

In no particular order, our five shortlisted firms are: AECOM, Aidea, Henning Larsen Architects, Leeser, and Pelli Clarke Pelli.

We also successfully kicked off Stage 2 of the competition with the comprehensive briefing of the shortlisted firms on April 4, where members of this chamber were given a chance to share their needs and vision for the new facility, and questions about the conceptual designs had been clearly addressed. The briefing process also included an actual site visit at the Navy Village.

Mr. President, as scheduled, all five firms have already submitted their conceptual design deliverables at 9:00 this morning. And at this very minute, members of my staff are already on course in printing and collating the entries for the technical evaluation.

Today, our vision of the new Senate unfolds before us in the form of design sketches and scale models that represent the varying concepts of a green, secure, functional and iconic building.

With your indulgence, may I share with you the submissions of the top five firms that we have earlier selected.

To objectively select which among these five conceptual designs best articulates our vision, a comprehensive scoring system will be adopted for our selection. For the purpose of transparency and for the appreciation of every member of this chamber, let me discuss our scoring methodology at length.

Our scoring system has three components: the Technical Score comprising 40% of the overall score; the People’s Choice at 5%; and the Executive Ranking at 55%.

The Technical Score will be determined by the Technical Evaluation Committee comprising representatives from the Senate and the BCDA and pre-selected experts from relevant professional disciplines such as architecture, engineering, interior design and cultural research, among others. These experts are from different government agencies, reputable professional organizations and the academe, namely the:

  1. Philippine Institute of Interior Designers;
  2. Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners;
  3. National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts;
  4. Department of Public Works and Highways;
  5. United Architects of the Philippines;
  6. Philippine Association of Landscape Architects;
  7. UST College of Architecture; and the
  8. Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation.

This Committee will review and evaluate the design entries based on four criteria: Sustainability, Functionality and Feasibility — each comprises 20% of the overall Technical Score — and Identity, which makes up the biggest percentage score of 40%. The Technical Evaluation Committee will objectively rate the entries per criterion independent of the other, and provide technical comments for each design entry.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, the Technical Evaluation Committee will officially convene tomorrow, May 22, to start the technical review.

The second component of our scoring system is the People’s Choice. The People’s Choice, which I consider as the swing vote, will allow the Senate community, meaning our staff and our employees, to take part in the decision process. All Senate staff are encouraged to select one entry design on May 23, 2018. The voting process shall be administered by the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Administration and Finance.

Finally, the Executive Ranking which comprises the highest percentage score of 55%, will be determined by each of us, Senators of this Republic, BCDA Chairman Gregorio Garcia and BCDA President Vivencio Dizon during the final presentations of the designs set on May 28, 2018.

Aside from the presentations per firm, we will also be provided with the summary of the scores and technical comments by the Technical Evaluation Committee and the result of the People’s Choice.

The ranking system will be simple — each of the Executives, meaning us, will categorically rank the designs from 1 to 5, 1 being our top choice and 5 being the least, based on our overall impression and consideration of each design as a sum of its parts.

Mr. President, to ensure the integrity and fairness of the scoring system, I wish to put emphasis on the established competition mechanics that only Executives who are present for the entire duration of the Final Presentations are allowed to cast their votes or scores. The final presentations of the designs on May 28, 2018 will promptly start at 9 o’clock in the morning at the Recto/Laurel/Pecson Committee Rooms. Thus, I am earnestly requesting everyone to be on time so as not to forfeit your right to vote.

In sum, this comprehensive scoring system puts primacy to the important technical aspects of the design and also ensures that the preferences of the different stakeholders of the facility are taken into account.

Mr. President, may I reiterate, I urge everyone to cast their votes and take part in this milestone initiative of building a home we envision for the Senate.

Thank you, Mr. President.