New Ministry of Environment office will allow officials to come to work in 2016

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
With aircon and enough space, ministry officials may have a bigger incentive to come to work: spokesman. Heng Chivoan

New Ministry of Environment office will allow officials to come to work in 2016

A new $8 million building for the Ministry of Environment located next to NagaWorld, facing Diamond Island, is set to officially open in February 2016 in an attempt to meet the need for more office space with modern facilities, said an official.

“We plan to complete the construction at the end of 2015. Based on schedule, it is almost completely done. Recently, we have equipped furniture and started cleaning. Officers from every department can gradually move in,” said Sao Sopheap, a spokesman for the Ministry of Environment.

The new white building – called “Morotok Techo” or “Techo’s Legacy” – began construction in July 2014 and was contracted out to Daun Penh Construction. Built on 6,750 square metres of state land, the seven-storey building, which includes basement parking, will provide larger office spaces for some 600 employees.

“The building provides 18,300 square metres of space, of which 15,000 square metres is office space,” said Sopheap.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sao Sopheap, a spokesman for the Ministry of Environment. Heng Chivoan

According to the spokesman, the new building is part of reforms initiated by Say Samal, the youngest Minister in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet, and will strengthen the productivity of the Ministry of Environment.

“We have undertaken a lot of institutional reforms, but we lack hard infrastructure for our officials and leadership,” he said.

The current office building, located on Sihanouk Boulevard near the Independence Monument, was a mere three storeys with only 3000 square metres of office space - making it five times smaller than the new facility.

“As you can see, the current office is an old building without enough space to do our work. Our officials are often absent from their work, but it is difficult to blame them because if they all come to work, there are not enough seats,” he said.

The new building has been designed with both traditional Khmer elements and modern concepts that save on electricity and are more environmentally sustainable.

“We have put a lot of thought into being environmentally friendly. With a balance of concrete and windows that can deflect sunlight, while keeping the building insulated, we can reduce our electricity consumption. Besides that, we have energy efficient air-conditioning units, Japanese-made LED lights and smart technology that also reduces energy consumption,” he said.

Asked about public perception of the ministry being so close to NagaWorld, Sopheap calmly said, “I thank their criticism.”

“In this area there is not only the office of the Ministry of Environment, but also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the National Assembly, as well as the Australian Embassy.”

Initially, the new office building of the Ministry of Environment was planned to be located on National Road 1 after Ratana Corporation and Construction acquired the land on Sihanouk Boulevard, promising to build the new building in the outskirts of the city.

However, it was relocated in 2014 to the new location after Say Samal took the office in 2013.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the