INTERIOR construction of the upper floors of the government-owned Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) has been cancelled, former councilor Mary Ann de los Santos alleged in a Facebook post Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
As of Wednesday evening, Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. has neither confirmed nor denied the allegation.
In her post, De los Santos said Casas issued a notice of cancellation on May 4, 2021 by authority of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Phase 4 of the project would have involved the interior construction of the upper levels starting from the fourth floor.
The supposed notice of cancellation states that the approved budget of P499.99 million for the project “is not sufficient to build the entire hospital and have it fully operational.”
It added that the local finance committee was evaluating a request for an additional P1 billion budget for the project under the proposed Supplemental Budget 1 (SB1).
“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,” it stated.
The document cited clause 9 of the Invitation to Bid, which allows the Cebu City Government to “reject any bids, declare a failure of bidding or not award the contract…without incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.”
The bidders may seek refund of their payment for the bid documents and withdraw the bid security for the project.
Construction of the new hospital building has been around six years in the making. The old structure was demolished in 2014, about a year after it was severely damaged by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in October 2013.
A new six-story structure was completed in 2020, and interior construction in the first three floors began in July 2020.
De los Santos, who was the deputy mayor for health during the Tomas Osmeña administration from 2016 to 2019, posted a copy of the supposed notice of cancellation and questioned the delay in awarding the contract for Phase 4.
She said a bidding was held in December 2020 yet.
Under Section 32.4 of Republic Act 9184, she said “the entire evaluation process for the procurement of Goods and Infrastructure Projects shall be completed within seven calendar days from the deadline for receipt of proposals.”
She said Labella was quoted on May 27, 2021 as saying that a post-qualification review was still being conducted.
Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama said he was told about the supposed cancellation of the project.
He said two contractors wrote him, asking about the bidding process.
He said the matter should have been discussed in the City Council before a notice of cancellation was issued.
Rama conducted a surprise visit Wednesday at the new CCMC building and the temporary facility at the Bureau of Fire Protection compound.
He said the City should provide an additional tent at the temporary CCMC building to cater to individuals accompanying the patients.
He said he will meet with the members of the committee on health to discuss the situation. (JJL)