Archival to city officials: Explain long delay in completion of CCMC

A MEMBER of the Cebu City Council’s opposition bloc wants city officials to explain to the council the circumstances that led to the long delay in the completion of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

In an interview with SunStar Cebu Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, Councilor Nestor Archival said he will file a resolution requesting the different department heads involved in the project to submit a report on the progress of the CCMC’s construction.

Archival would also want to know the total budget spent by the City Government since the construction of the project started in 2015.

“Mangayo ko sa mga hingtungdan nga departments... kay para nako, dako na kaayo ta og gasto ana. In the sense nga murag tulo na ka budget ang na approve,” said Archival.

(I will ask for the data from the relevant departments... because I think we have already spent so much on that. We’ve already approved around three budgets for that.)

The first phase of the construction of CCMC was worth P567 million, and it covered the construction of the first six floors of the hospital.

The second phase, which amounted to P283 million, covered the utilities such as plumbing, electrical, fire protection, mechanical, communication and the structural finishes.

The third phase was reported to be worth around P100 million.

Phases 1, 2 and 3 were undertaken by different contractors.

The three contractors involved in the first three phases of construction were C.E. Padilla Construction Inc., C.B. Garay Philwide Builders and Charlz Construction.

In April 2022, the current contractor of the CCMC—the joint venture of M.E. Sicat Construction and Avecs Corp.--won the P908 million contract for Phase 4 of the construction which involves finishing the shell of the seventh to the 10th floors of the hospital and the interiors of the third and fourth floors.

The councilor also lambasted the lack of proper planning for the hospital’s construction which eventually led to difficulties in finishing the project.

According to Archival, the officials behind the construction of the new CCMC treated it like an ordinary infrastructure project without considering its magnitude and scale.

“Ang usa sa rason ana, mao gyud na ang paghimo og usa ka project nga himuon nimo og ‘inato’ lang ba... One big project should be handled by one project management team and one construction team,” said Archival.

He further questioned why the project has been handled by different construction companies, which has led to an improper turnover of civil works once a portion of the hospital is completed by the previous contractor.

Terminate

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Mayor Michael Rama announced that he would terminate the contract of the joint venture of M.E. Sicat Construction and Avecs Corp., which is undertaking Phase 4 of the CCMC’s construction.

Rama said he had become impatient and decided to cancel all construction works but assured the contractor of due process.

On Wednesday, Michael Allan Sicat, president of M.E. Sicat Construction, said they were “still finishing the third and fourth floors.”

Sicat also told SunStar that construction of the seventh to tenth floors was “on hold” as they were still doing tests “to test that the first to sixth floors were done properly,” as they were not the ones who built the first six floors.

Sicat believes he is still “compliant” with his obligations.

But on Thursday, the City Government already barred the joint venture’s 300 construction workers from entering the worksite.

Although the contractors had been given 570 calendar days from April 6, 2022 to complete the job, Rama had expected the interiors of the third and fourth floors of the building at least to have been completed before his birthday last Oct. 28 as this had been agreed on with the contractors.

Archival said he understands the point that Rama is trying to make as the chief executive of the city.

“The mayor probably found shortcomings as the mayor had also guaranteed the completion of the CCMC,” he said.

Partial opening

The old four-story CCMC building on Natalio Bacalso Ave. was ordered demolished by Rama in 2014 after it sustained heavy damage during the October 2013 earthquake and was declared unsafe.

A new six-story structure was completed in 2020, and interior construction in the first three floors began in July 2020.

In July 2021, the City Council approved a P1 billion allocation in its first supplemental budget for the completion of the seventh to 10th floors of the hospital.

The first three floors of the new CCMC were formally opened on Sept. 18, 2021 after a soft opening in December 2020.