MANILA (Mabuhay) — The estimated cost of the Makati City Science High School building should only reach up to P644 million, and not P1.3 billion, an architect told the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on Tuesday.

Architect Danilo Alano of the Philippine Institute of Architects told the subcommittee that the estimated cost of the building was P20,000 per square meter or as high as P28,000 per square meter only.

Alano said his estimate was based on prevailing prices.

Another architect, Mariano Castillo, also told the committee that his estimated total floor area of the 10-story building was 19, 162, and not 23,000 square meters based on the records of the Makati City Hall.

Using Alano and Castillo’s estimates, subcommittee chair Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the total cost of the building would be P536 million if the price per square meter was P20,000 or as high as P644 million if the cost was P28,000 per square meter.

“Architect Alano, I used the upper limit nga of your range na P28,000 per square meter. We used the lower figure of the DPWH of 19,162 square meters, we arrived at the total cost for the project per you estimate P536 million?” Pimentel said with Alano agreeing.

“And if we use now your upper limit of P28,000 per square meter and even the declared total area of 23,000 square meters, the cost is P644 million… Lagyan natin ng range ‘yung estimate mo (Let’s put a range to your estimate). Ang estimate mo (Your estimate) is P536 million to P644 million. Do you accept that as your estimate of the total cost of the Makati Science High School?”

“Yes your honor,” Alano said.

Property appraiser, Federico Cuervo of the Cuervo Valuers and Advisory Inc., meanwhile estimated the total cost of the building at P489 million or P24,000 square meter.

The building is one of the allegedly overpriced projects being investigated by the subcommittee. (MNS)