Binay defends Coconut Palace office renovations which include airconditioning his toilet, reshaping the pool and building private quarters
(SPOT.ph) Vice President Jejomar Binay has drawn flak from critics for the ongoing renovations at the Coconut Palace, and for occupying two offices with a total rent cost of P750,000 a month, reports ABS-CBN News.
The Vice President is currently renting a portion of the PNB Financial Center while the renovations at the Coconut Palace are in full swing. Some of the renovations include the conversion of the library into Binay's office, an airconditioner in his private bathroom, new furniture, a new receiving room, the conversion of the Bicol Room into his private quarters, and a new room for his staff. According to the report, the rectangular pool is also being renovated, since Binay believes that its shape is bad feng shui.
According to the report, the estimated cost of renovations total to nearly a million pesos, while the total rent for the two offices amount to P750,000 a month-P50,000 less than what the OVP is paying PNB for. Critics, however, still labeled this an unnecessary extravagance.
Harvey Keh, a youth leadership director at the Ateneo School of Government, said, "Sabi nga ng President Aquino, ang minana nila ay isang bankrupt na pamahalaan, kaya kailangan nilang magtipid (President Aquino said they inherited a bankrupt administration so there's a need to economize)." Keh suggested that Binay tone down the renovations of the Coconut Palace, adding that the money could be spent elsewhere like in education.
In the report, Keh also urged that the OVP look for a government-owned building to house the employees not joining Binay in the Coconut Palace, instead of continuing to rent a portion of the PNB.
However, Binay answered: "Hindi ito sa pagiging maluho (It's not about being extravagant), it's about giving dignity to the Office of the Vice President."
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