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Historical building eyed as Senate office

A historical building whose architecture still invites admiration from passers-by – the 87-year-old Philippine Postal Building – may be the new address of the Senate. The structure, which has the sprawling Liwasang Bonifacio in front of it, was built in 1926.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon sent his representative to the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) premises to inspect the building, according to PPC Chief Operating Officer (CEO) and Postmaster General Ma. Josefina M. dela Cruz.

She said the suggestion to consider the building for the Senate came from Senator Francis Escudero. “I think it is a beautiful building for the Senate,’’ Dela Cruz told Manila Bulletin, after attending the Escudero committee hearing on PPC’s budget for the next fiscal year.

During the hearing, Escudero had mentioned to Dela Cruz that the Philippine post office is ideal not only in terms of structure. ‘’It has historical significance,’’ he said.

The Senate is renting six floors of the state-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Pasay City since May 17, 1997. Before that, the Senate was housed at the old Congress building, which is now being used by the National Museum. The Senate was first housed in the Spanish Intendencia building in Intramuros, Manila, in 1916.

Dela Cruz said the PPC is ready to move out of the Post Office building and transfer to a temporary building in Quezon City, while a permanent PPC building near the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is being constructed by a joint venture company. It will be a five-story structure on a 5,000 square-meter area.

She said the Post Office building is owned by PPC while the lot is owned by the national government.

Since it is a heritage building, by law, it has to be preserved. It was built in1926 and was repaired in 1948 (after the bombing of Manila during World War II). It was designed by Burnham, envisioned to be the Burnham Park in Manila. The architect was Arellano,’’ she added.