THE first three floors of the new 10-storey Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) building will be opened this December.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella gave the assurance in a press conference on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, three days after photos showing a pile of hollow blocks and steel beams inside an unfinished CCMC building went viral on social media.
Responding to netizens’ comments, Labella told reporters the photos posted on Nov. 24 were taken on the sixth floor of the CCMC building.
Labella said the first three floors of the new CCMC which will house the outpatient department, emergency department, radiology department and x-ray department will soon open.
These floors will also have a few wards, Labella said.
Despite Labella’s announcement, it remained unclear whether the first three floors would or could immediately operate once opened.
Interviewed separately, City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., said although the first three floors will be opened, “the operation is another story.”
Casas said there are currently 200 construction workers working on the first three floors of the CCMC.
The hospital equipment which have been prepared also need to be installed.
Casas hopes to complete the installation by December so that the three floors can begin to operate.
CCMC Administrator Yvonne Feliciano said the new equipment to be installed at the new CCMC include computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and advanced room equipment.
The first three floors can accommodate up to 150 patients.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) engineers to ask their timeline for the completion of the hospital’s remaining floors. The calls remained unanswered as of late Friday.
Labella had wanted to complete the first three floors of the hospital this year to help with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The City has allocated P567 million for the first phase of the CCMC and another P283 million for its second phase which would include the installation of utilities, plumbing, electrical, fire protection, mechanical, communication and structural finishes.
In August 2020, city officials said the second phase was in the bidding stage.
Both Labella and Vice Mayor Michael Rama envisioned to finish the new CCMC building before their term ends in 2022.
The building has been under construction for five years since 2015 during the term of then mayor Rama.
The old CCMC building had to be demolished after it sustained heavy damage during the October 2013 earthquake.