CCMC told: Leave-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Central Visayas region has ordered the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) to vacate their lot along N. Bacalso Ave. so they can resume operations.
The area was temporarily converted by the City Government into a makeshift hospital, after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake last Oct. 15 heavily damaged the CCMC located across the fire station.
In a three-page letter to CCMC chief Dr. Gloria Duterte, BFP 7 Director Ma. Luisa Hadjula said their agency only agreed for CCMC to temporarily use their area following the earthquake, out of concern for the public hospital’s patients.
At present, however, Hadjula pointed out that the area no longer has confined patients.
When the earthquake happened, there were at least 250 CCMC patients who were evacuated to the BFP parking area, sports complex and chapel.
Three weeks after, the patients have been discharged while others have been transferred to other hospitals in the city.
CCMC has temporarily stopped accepting patients, particularly those for admission, while they fixed the BFP area that Mayor Michael Rama has ordered to be converted into a temporary hospital.
The quake that struck Bohol, Cebu and other parts of the Visayas last Oct. 15 has damaged P2.2 billion worth of public infrastructure. In Cebu, the CCMC and the Palace of Justice were among the structures declared unsafe, along with over 1,300 classrooms.
Mayor Rama now wants the CCMC building torn down to make way for a new, bigger hospital.
As of yesterday, CCMC still refused to accept patients for admission as it has not yet completely installed the wiring for the tent hospital provided by the Philippine Red Cross. This will be used as a general ward.
Sought for comment on Hadjula’s letter, Dr. Duterte told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that she will leave the matter to the mayor.
“Basta kami, mopadayon ra gihapon mi ug asikaso sa temporary hospital (We will continue to prepare the temporary hospital),” she said. Duterte said they are expected to start accepting patients for admission by Thursday or Friday.
Told about Hadjula’s letter, the mayor just laughed and said the matter will be handled by the City Legal Office.
In the same letter, Hadjula said it is the mayor who is harassing BFP 7 by taking possession of their property without due process of law. She referred to reports that quoted Rama as saying the bureau is harassing the City.
She said that the mayor is “using our hearts for the patients” to gain possession of their estimated 7,000-square- meter property.
According to Hadjula, the mayor went to the BFP 7 last Oct. 18 and “invaded” her office.
“He conducted a staff meeting and threatened my staff because he wanted to take over the whole building. Clearly, this is an action that is unbecoming of an elected public official. This is a blatant show of disrespect to the Office of the Regional Director,” she said.
Hadjula said she was not in her office when Rama conducted the meeting, as she was in Manila for a confinement.
Also, Hadjula lamented that painting has started on the temporary staff and doctors’ offices that will be located in their building.
This, she said, violates the bureau’s agreement with former city councilor Eduardo Rama Jr. that CCMC’s stay in the building and compound will be temporary.
It was the former city councilor whom the mayor tasked to handle the relocation of the fire station.
The Cebu City Fire Station has already been transferred to the Parian Station while the BFP 7 is supposed to be transferred to the Cebu City Sports Complex.
The BFP 7, though, refused to vacate all of the property upon orders of the BFP National Headquarters and the Department of Interior and Local Government. They still occupy their offices.
The mayor already said that the hospital setup in the BFP compound will only be temporary.
“I have not changed my stand on that,” he said.
He also guaranteed that BFP can go back to their area once a new city hospital is established.
Aside from the painting, Hadjula lamented that their personnel and vehicles were no longer allowed by the CCMC security guards to enter their building.
Hadjula explained that BFP will not be paying for the power and water bills incurred by the CCMC while it stays in their compound. She asked CCMC to secure their own water and electricity meters.
“A prolonged use of the utilities by the staff of CCMC paid by the BFP would cause illegally allocating a national agency’s funds to a local government indirectly. It is beyond the authority of the regional director,” she said.
It would be “highly unfair,” she added, if the Commission on Audit were to disallow the use of BFP funds for the CCMC’s utilities.
Also, Hadjula reiterated that BFP has not relinquished its ownership of the property where the fire station stands.
Hadjula said the lot was transferred to them without interest by the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police way back in 1984.
The mayor, though, said it is the City that is the rightful owner of the property.
Sun.Star Cebu tried to ask General Services Office chief Engr. Rolando Ardosa yesterday if the City has a title for the lot, but he was not available for comment.
Last week, Rama ordered the BFP 7 to leave the property by Nov. 9 or else the City will be filing a case for unlawful detainer or ejectment against them.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 05, 2013.