‘Biggest project in Pasig’s history’: Mayor Vico Sotto announces plan to build a 'future proof' city hall campus.
Envisioning Pasig City beyond its 450 years, Mayor Vico Sotto announced on Sunday, July 2, the local government’s plans to transform the current city hall into a stronger and more dynamic seat of government that will be known as the “Pasig City Hall Campus.”
The announcement was made as the city celebrated its Thanksgiving Night program for the traditional celebration of the city’s 450th founding anniversary.
Sotto touted the campus as the biggest infrastructure project that has ever been undertaken by the Pasig local government in its entire history.
|Proposed Pasig City Hall Campus|
According to the conceptual design shown to the public, the Pasig City Hall Campus will become a compound of solar-powered buildings housing the local government’s various offices and departments, along with spaces for organizations across multiple sectors, conference halls and function rooms.
The buildings will be surrounded with open green spaces for the public and wide roads for pedestrians, featuring fountain displays and areas for recreational use.
|Aerial view of proposed Pasig City Hall Campus|
At its center will be a tower with a spire, where the public can have an overlooking view of the whole city.
The campus will also house a portion of the Pasig Mega Market with more modern and organized stall and booth divisions selling wet and dry goods, coupled with food courts or eating areas, and designated food trucks.
Sotto emphasized the need for a city hall that is inclusive for all citizens, young or old, and serves as a safe space for its people.
‘Structurally unsound’ City Hall
Even before Sotto first became mayor of Pasig in 2019, the mayor shared that multiple cracks and fissures have been seen and reported on the city hall’s walls, floors, and other areas. Complaints of leakages, uneven ground, and other similar issues within the buildings have also been made.
|Pasig City Hall Campus featuring the iconic Revolving Tower|
Sotto said they hired an independent consultant to inspect and assess the city hall infrastructure, who concluded that the four buildings making up the city hall were “not structurally sound.” It was still technically safe, but its structural integrity would worsen overtime.
The consultant’s findings indicated 62 columns and 451 girders or beams in the city hall were structurally inadequate. The seismic gaps (or space in between the buildings) were found insufficient in preventing structures from hitting each other during a strong earthquake.
The foundation of the buildings were also said to be “liquified in nature and there is a strong likelihood that uneven settlement will occur in case of a very strong earthquake event.”
Sotto previously noted how he and other city hall employees feel the building shake even during an intensity one earthquake. City Hall employees had to evacuate from the buildings when an intensity three earthquake jolted the city due to the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Calatagan, Batangas last June 15.
The mayor said the plan for the Pasig City Hall Campus is an affirmative action towards addressing these infrastructure problems.
After speaking and consulting with more than a dozen engineers, Sotto said that simply retrofitting the buildings was not recommended. He also noted that the city hall did not have an “as built” plan.
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The Pasig City Hall Campus is our vision for the city, Sotto said.
“We realized that this is an opportunity for the City of Pasig, as we recognize our history for the past 450 years, to bridge the past, present, and future. Now we are thinking of the next 450 years of Pasig,” he remarked in English and Tagalog.
Since Sotto’s first term in 2019, he has emphasized how his administration has focused on smaller infrastructure projects in order to give priority to systemic and institutional reforms and changes in the city government.
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At present, the local government is more confident to undertake these types of projects, Sotto said.
If they are going to have a big infrastructure project, they will ensure it is well-planned, the process is transparent, that it is “future proof” – we can make use of it now, but also pass it to the next generation of Pasiguenos, he added.
The construction of the project will take up to two years, in which city hall employees would need to find suitable areas for relocation.
Negotiations are being conducted for the project since it will involve technical public-private partnerships, said the mayor.