Rama: New CCMC a birthday wish-A A +A
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama said he will push through with the demolition of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) along N. Bacalso Ave. and then construct a new, bigger and modern hospital.
He issued the statement yesterday, three days after the City Council pushed for retrofitting the 300-bed facility instead of having it demolished.
“It is my birthday wish and Christmas wish that we will have a new CCMC,” added Rama, who celebrated his 59th birthday yesterday.
He first announced he wanted the 45-year-old hospital to be torn down after an inspection showed its structure was weakened by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol, Cebu and other parts of the Visayas last Oct. 15.
The damage to the CCMC is part of the P2.2 billion in public infrastructure that was either destroyed or weakened by the quake two weeks ago.
Members of the council’s majority bloc said in an executive session last Friday that retrofitting the CCMC is a better option, because it will be faster and cheaper than building a new hospital.
City Hall consultant Engr. Ariel dela Cruz, a structural engineer, had said that retrofitting would take two months and cost P10-P15 million, while building a new hospital would take two to three years. The mayor estimated the cost of the project to reach P1 billion to P1.5 billion.
In a news conference he called yesterday afternoon, Rama expressed opposition to the council’s preference.
“I don’t want retrofitting. It will not make me very fulfilled and contented. It will not address the medical problem of the city. If we really want quality in service, quality in structure and quality in the landscape of the whole hospital, the answer is we build a new CCMC. What is incumbent now is to build a new people’s hospital,” the mayor said.
Asked when the construction of the new hospital will start, Rama said it will be as soon as possible.
He added that the matter is already being handled by City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos and other City Hall officials, including the demolition of the condemned CCMC building.
As to the design of the new hospital, Rama said he told delos Santos to tap the private sector and the academe.
For the funding requirements for the project, the mayor yesterday disclosed he has written Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Enrique Ona to ask for assistance.
In 2012, CCMC had asked DOH for P300 million as assistance for the expansion of the hospital. However, only P50 million was approved and the money was used to purchase hospital equipment.
Rama said he is hoping that P300 million will be granted to the City this time.
Aside from tapping the National Government, Rama said the “piso-piso” fundraising campaign will also continue.
“There will always be a beautiful tomorrow, not for us but for the people of Cebu,” added Rama.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2013.