PALO, Leyte – The New Government Center, to be undertaken by a private company, is set to start the work January next year at a cost of P4 billion. The envisioned New Government Center, dubbed as “The Octagon,” will sit at the nine-hectare property at Barangay Candahug, this town. The project will be undertaken by Malaysia-based MTD Malaysia through its local office in the country. “Currently, we are doing a market survey both from the government and private sector. We are optimistic that there will be locators because of ongoing economic developments here,” said Grace Pesca, AlloyMTD Philippines head of contracts and procurements.

The firm plans to have its groundbreaking on January 2015 and will be completed within two years. AlloyMTD will manage the project for 30 years under the built operate transfer (BOT) scheme. Based on the plan, the project will consist of three 8-storey buildings for government offices with a total floor area of 11,688 square meters (sqm); 6-storey business process outsourcing (BPO) with 11,500 seats; 5-storey hotel (7,302 sqm); 4-storey private sector office (5,844 sqm); and a three-storey hospital (4,833 sqm).

Eight buildings with a total floor area of three hectares will be constructed designed to withstand up to 320 kilometers per hour wind velocity and intensity 8 earthquakes, according to Pesca. In addition, the provincial capitol building will also be located at the proposed new government center together with a hospital and an evacuation center that can house residents within the area. The provincial government under Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla is seeking a P1.5 billion budget to transfer its capitol building from Tacloban to Palo, some 12 kilometers away from the regional capital. The property, which is the firm’s most expensive government center project in the country, will rise eight meters above sea level and structures will be built to protect the complex from storm surges. “The Octagon will symbolize their resilience to inspire a new beginning for its people. Thus, this facility, consisting of 8 octagonal buildings forming an 8-sided complex, will surely rekindle their hope for a brighter future,” Pesca said.

Gov.Petilla, chairman of the Regional Development Council, said the AlloyMTD project will encourage more BPO companies to invest in the province. “There are many interested BPO firms, but we have no infrastructure to accommodate them. No wonder many BPO workers in Manila and Cebu are from Leyte,” Petilla said. Patterned after Putrajaya, the federal administrative center of Malaysia, AlloyMTD envisions to replicate one-stop-shop government centers all over the Philippines. Its first project in the country is the P2.5 billion regional government center in Calamba, Laguna, which is has been ready for occupancy since September. Other projects on the pipeline are government centers in Nueva Ecija, Camarines Sur, Maguindanao, Ilocos Sur, and Bataan. These five project with a total cost of P10 billion is up for completion on June 2016. Malaysia-based property developer AlloyMTD is the merger between MTD and Alloy. The firm operates in the Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Philippines, Chile and China. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)