Is P7.8-M Nat’l Flagpole overpriced?

Is P7.8 million too much - or a justified cost -to build the National Flagpole of the Philippines?

The new flagpole will replace the current 30-meter (105) high pole now standing at the Rizal Park. To be built will be a towering flagpole 52 meters (150 feet) high.

Earlier, the National Parks and Development Committee explained that the cost of building the flagpole also covers other construction details, such as the new foundation that will hold the structure up to 150 feet, strong enough to with stand the wind force.

An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called the project overpriced.''That flagpole is really overpriced,'' Manila Auxilary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), said in an interview. ''That's the fate of many government projects.''

Another church official, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, believes that the funds that will be spent in the flagpole is an abuse of money.

''I think the price of that flagpole - P7.8 million - if it's true, is an abuse of money. Did it really all go to the flagpole? Most of it could have been better spent,'' he said.

Other prelates also shared the same sentiment.

''What is the purpose of the structure? What are the priorities of those responsible for it? Are public funds used?'' retired Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez said.

''I believe there is a way of spending less and getting the work done. I understand why people are angry. I hope competent authority should check this,'' said Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.

The new mechanized flagpole, which will be called the National Flagpole of the Philippines, will be imported from China.

Price Is Justified

Meanwhile, South Manila District Engineer Mikunug D. Macud explained that the cost of the project is justified considering the materials used and the extent of the construction needed for its foundation. He explained that the foundation will be widened to support the higher and thicker flagpole.

''You may say it is expensive, but when you see the details, the materials [needed], actually it is not,'' he told Manila Bulletin.

He explained that the project, which was proposed in 2011, went through proper public bidding. The DPWH had allotted P8.5 million for the project, but that went down to P7.8 million after the bidding. It was awarded to AKH Construction and Trading Corp.

On the other hand, Engineer Rudolfo Mendoza Jr., a structural engineer for Arup, a multinational professional services firm told Manila Bulletin that the Luneta Flagpole project is grossly overpriced.

He hit earlier statements of the DPWH explaining the high cost was incurred because of a deeper foundation for the support of the flagpole to with stand wind force.

He cited a similar project that required more rigorous specifications for the foundations. He said the cost for the foundation, labor and transport for a two-meter thick, 20- meter high unipole for a billboard only cost P2 million back in 2000.

While the height for his unipole billboard was smaller, he said that the foundations for it needed to be stronger because of the greater wind forces that would be acting upon it. According to him, the Luneta flagpole project would not need a foundation as strong as it would be subject to significantly less wind force compared to the billboard.

He also said that there is no reason for the DPWH to order a flagpole overseas since there are many manufacturing firms that could make a similar pole locally.

Grandspan Development Corporation for example, the firm which made the Lufthansa Technik hangar in NAIA that could house the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, could have easily made the flagpole, he said.

AKH Construction and Trading Corporation could not be reached for comment as of press time.

DPWH-National Capital Region Director Reynaldo Tagudando had earlier defended the project, saying the new flagpole soon to rise in front of the Rizal monument is not just ''ordinary,'' but it is thicker and higher.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Noy to visit Canada, Japan
    Noy to visit Canada, Japan

    President Aquino will embark on a state visit to Canada in May and Japan in June to meet with his counterparts and promote Philippine interests. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino accepted the invitation from Canadian Governor General David Johnston to make a state visit to Canada from May 7 to 9. Tied to this trip is the President’s one-day working visit to the United States to meet with potential investors and with the local Filipino community in Chicago, Valte …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options