‘Why charge Binay P400K?’

THE fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya assailed President Benigno Aquino III for asking Vice President Jejomar Binay to pay P400,000 monthly rental for the use of Coconut Palace as the Office of the Vice President.

“Why charge the Office of the Vice President over the rental of a public property? The Coconut Palace is a public property and therefore the vice president or any Filipino taxpayer can use the establishment for free provided it will be used for productive undertaking,” the group said in a statement.

Pamalakaya chairman Fernando Hicap said the monthly rental being asked from Binay is “really puzzling and at the same time outrageous.”

Binay is set to move into the Coconut Palace, which the vice president will lease from the Government Service Insurance System for P400,000 monthly or P4.8 million a year.

The Coconut Palace was built in 1978 and designed by architect Francisco Mañosa. It is made of Philippine hardwoods and coconut shells, among other local building materials. It is shaped like an octagon, and the roof looks like a salakot, or native hat.

The bedrooms have a Filipino look, each emulating traditional art and aesthetics of a particular region, with antique decor on walls, tables and cabinets.

Reporters covering the Office of the Vice President beat were given a rare tour of the Coconut Palace bedrooms last week. D’Jay Lazaro

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