Majority bloc prefers to retrofit CCMC-A A +A
Saturday, October 26, 2013
INSTEAD of supporting the plan of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to build a new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), the majority bloc of the City Council yesterday pushed to retrofit the 45-year-old hospital on Bacalso Ave.
The majority bloc said retrofitting would be cheaper and faster compared to demolishing the hospital and building a new one.
In an executive session yesterday afternoon, Councilor Michael Ralota asked City Hall consultant Ariel dela Cruz, a structural engineer, how long and how much it will cost to retrofit the 300-bed CCMC.
Dela Cruz said retrofitting the hospital will take two months and cost P10 to P15 million.
The mayor plans to demolish the old hospital and build a new, modern and bigger facility with 1,000 beds will cost about P1 to P1.5 billion.
“That (retrofitting) is the better way. We don't have to spend P1.5 billion after all,” said Councilor Gerardo Carillo.
Councilor Sisinio Andales asked dela Cruz what he recommended after inspecting the CCMC for damage caused by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15.
Dela Cruz said they recommended retrofitting.
But he pointed out that demolishing CCMC and building a new hospital is the better option.
He said retrofitting the CCMC would only extend the hospital’s lifespan by only 15 to 20 years.
“Considering that CCMC is already 45 years old, it will really be good if we just build a new one because it will last longer.
The CCMC building is already at the end of its lifespan. A building can no longer be considered in pristine condition if it reaches 50 years old,” he said.
Dela Cruz and chief engineer Kenneth Enriquez of the Cebu City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) inspected CCMC after the earthquake.
They found that “majority of the main structural members” of the CCMC building showed diagonal cracks.
The columns of the building no longer conform with the structural code of the country since it was built in 1968, they said.
Councilor Margarita Osmeña asked if building a new hospital would be safer if another earthquake hit the city.
Dela Cruz said the new structure would be safer because it will be built according to new standards.
Osmeña asked if the newest technology cannot be applied in retrofitting the hospital.
Dela Cruz retrofitting will merely treat damaged portions of a building.
“You cannot say it will be 100 percent healthy because you cannot retrofit the foundation,” he added.
But Ralota insisted that retrofitting is better because it can be completed sooner and patients, who are temporarily housed at the Bureau of Fire Protection 7 building, can return to the hospital.
As of the other day, though, several patients at the CCMC temporary hospital have been discharged and the rest were transferred to other hospitals.
CCMC management is still not accepting patients until all medical equipment have been transferred to the BFP building.
But Carillow backed Ralota's proposal. He made a motion to ask the DEPW to immediately prepare the program of works and estimates for the retrofitting works.
Meanwhile, executive judge Soliver Peras and other officials of the Palace of Justice sought the help of City Hall to transfer court documents to the Cebu Eastern College, which will be converted as temporary offices and salas of Regional Trial Courts and eight Municipal Trial Courts.
The Palace of Justice has been declared unsafe after the earthquake.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 26, 2013.