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Corporate regulator eyes new site in Bonifacio area

Posted on October 14, 2012 10:58:36 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Franz J. G. de la Fuente, Reporter

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to move to a bigger site, possibly in Taguig City, in order to cope with the agency’s growing infrastructure and service needs, senior officials of the corporate regulator said over the weekend.

THE CURRENT office of the Securities and Exchange Commission needs ‘retrofitting for added stability’ and more parking space. -- BW FILE PHOTO

“It’s still in the early planning stage, so no details yet. But the SEC had plans to move even during my predecessors’ time. Hopefully the transfer happens during my term,” Teresita J. Herbosa, SEC chairman, said in a text message last Saturday when asked about the agency’s reported plans to transfer to a new site somewhere in Taguig City from its current home near the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City.

Ms. Herbosa, who was appointed to a seven-year term last year, declined to elaborate.

Gerard M. Lukban, SEC secretary, said in a separate text message: “The [prospective new] area is around a hectare which would be used by other government offices also. It is near the area of McKinley Hill and the American cemetery (Manila American Cemetery and Memorial).”

“It may take a projected three years to complete the infrastructure for the new building,” he added.

The McKinley Hill area has been identified as one of 25 emerging business districts in Mega Manila apart from the better-known Makati City, Ortigas Center, and Bonifacio Global City central business districts, according to real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu.

McKinley Hill is bounded by C-5 Road to the east, the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial to the north, Lawton Road to the west, and the Philippine Army headquarters to the south.

The SEC, with its eight departments and two special offices, currently occupies a 12-storey building along EDSA in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City. While the corporate regulator has been housed in that building since the 1970s, natural calamities have since taken their toll on the structure, prompting the commission to consider other locations, Ma. Juanita E. Cueto, SEC commissioner, said in a separate text message.

“Because of earthquakes, the [present] building needs additional retrofitting for added stability,” said Ms. Cueto.

Mr. Herbosa added that, “Right now, we lack space, and if we want full automation [of operations], the new building would be more technology-efficient; and there is also the practical reason of more parking for everyone.”

These plans come as the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), which deals with listed corporations, has also planned its relocation to Taguig City.

Last April, the PSE approved the transfer of its corporate headquarters to Bonifacio Global City from its present location along Ayala Avenue, Makati City, inking a partnership with listed developer Ayala Land, Inc. for the project.

The new PSE offices will be housed in a P3.5-billion multi-tower complex that will rise in the planned One Bonifacio High Street district -- a 3.2-hectare, premium mixed-use block west of the existing Bonifacio High Street commercial strip.
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