Binay wants to move from "too bare" office to Coconut Palace; Malacañang passes decision to Congress
Vice President Jejomar Binay’s proposed move to make the Coconut Palace inside the CCP Complex his office and official residence is now in the hands of Congress, reports 24 Oras. Malacanang passed the decision to Congress a day after it was reported that Binay was considering moving from his "too bare" office to the Coconut Palace.
Binay’s son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, has been quoted saying it was President Noynoy Aquino who offered the Coconut Palace to Binay to be his official residence, reports Inquirer.net. But Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told 24 Oras, "There’s nothing in the constitution that provides that...It’s up to Congress if they feel the Vice President should be entitled to it."
Office of the Vice President Chief of Staff Benjie Martinez said the Coconut Palace has a strategic location. "It’s very presentable," he said. "It gives dignity [to the Office of the Vice President]." Binay told reporters on July 1, his first day as Vice President, that his "too bare" and "warm" office at the Philippine National Bank Building in Pasay City needed a bit of "yabang."
Even if Congress grants Binay’s request to move, he will have to wait four months because the Coconut Palace has been under renovation since June, according to GMANews.tv. The report also said that Binay’s wife Dr. Elenita Binay recently visited the place.
The Coconut Palace, commissioned by former First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1978, allegedly cost $10 million to build at the time, reports Inquirer.net. It was made from coconut lumber, bamboo, rattan and capiz shells, and other indigenous materials. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Hollywood actors Brooke Shields and George Hamilton are among the international celebrities who have visited it.