THE Cebu City executive department confirmed on Friday, July 2, 2021, that the construction of the fourth phase of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) was cancelled.
The confirmation from Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. came two days after former councilor Mary Ann de los Santos posted the notice of cancellation on her Facebook page.
Casas, in a press conference on July 2, said the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) decided to put on hold any development for the construction of CCMC while waiting for the remaining P1 billion budget to be approved.
The City Government allocated P500 million for the CCMC building from the 2021 annual budget.
For the first supplemental budget for the year, the executive department asked for an additional P1 billion budget, the last tranche to complete the new CCMC building.
The Cebu City Council has yet to deliberate on the proposed first supplemental budget amounting to P4.4 billion.
Casas said instead of pushing through with the bidding and proceeding to award the P500 million budget to the winning bidder, the BAC decided to just award the P1.5 billion to one contractor.
Casas said different contractors have worked for the first, second and third phases of the new CCMC building and the City saw some challenges with this kind of setup.
“Kay kon pareha sa Phase one, two, three, lain-lain ang contractor, morag ma-chop suey gyud ang outcome (If the setup will be the same as in the first three phases where there were different contractors, the outcome might be like a chop suey),” said Casas.
Casas did not elaborate on his use of the word “chop suey,” a Chinese-style dish made of different ingredients, where the meat is usually stewed and fried with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and onions, and served with rice, in describing the work on the three phases of the new CCMC building.
The three contractors involved in the first three phases of construction are C.E. Padilla Construction Inc., C.B. Garay Philwide Builders and Charlz Construction.
On Wednesday, June 30, de los Santos, the deputy mayor for health during the last administration, posted on her Facebook page a notice of cancellation on the construction of the fourth phase of CCMC dated May 4.
The fourth phase includes the completion of the 10-story building starting from the fourth floor.
The notice of cancellation was signed by Casas and authorized by Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Stated in the notice was that the allocated budget was insufficient to build the entire building and have it fully operational.
“In view thereof, notice is hereby issued cancelling the above-mentioned project in order to expeditiously complete the construction of the CCMC and to have it fully operational as soon as possible consistent with the thrust of this administration in providing health care services to the people,” read a portion of the City Government’s notice.
The notice also states that the bidders can request for a refund for the payment of the purchase of bidding documents and the withdrawal of the bid security for the project.
Casas said the notice of cancellation was issued before the bidding was completed.
He also said no winning bidder had been awarded when the notice was issued.
The new CCMC building was partially opened on December 28, 2020, with its outpatient department having been opened first.
The old CCMC building on Natalio Bacalso Ave. had to be demolished after sustaining heavy damage during the October 2013 earthquake. The hospital operations transferred to the Bureau of Fire Protection compound.
The current administration still has one year left to complete the new CCMC. The Labella administration aims to complete it within his term. (JJL)