Battle over ownership-A A +A
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
AS I wrote this piece, dySS Super Radyo Capitol beat reporter Renan Alanguilan informed me that Marco Polo Plaza Hotel has demanded payments from the Capitol in the amount of more than half-a-million pesos. It was incurred during the stay of former governor Gwen Garcia at Marco Polo Hotel in Hong Kong. Capitol officials have refused to honor the bills citing lack of supporting documents.
Mao na ni resulta sa pagwari-wari sa kuwarta sa mga magbubuhis. Pabayri na nila uy.
Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP 7) Director Ma. Luisa Hadjula is in fighting mood against Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) officials on what she claimed as the “illegal taking over” of the bureau's building by hospital personnel.
In her strongly worded letter to Dr. Gloria Duterte, hospital directress, Hadjula ordered CCMC to vacate the place. The building is being temporarily used as hospital following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol last Oct. 15.
Because of the finding by structural engineers that the CCMC building is no longer safe for occupancy, the CCMC staff and patients will have a prolonged stay at the BFP 7 building along N. Bacalso Ave. The hospital has momentarily stopped admitting new patients.
I can understand the concern of Hadjula because the utility bills of her office, those for water and electricity, will definitely increase. And we know the bureaucratic procedure in requesting for funds from the national offices of government agencies like the BFP, which is under the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG).
Maybe Hadjula foresees that she might have a hard time justifying the increase in their utility bills. She said she might be questioned by the Commission on Audit (COA).
Besides, the presence of CCMC staff in that building might hamper BFP 7 operation. We know that the function of the BFP is very essential. This even if the BFP regional office will not respond to any fire alarm because it has the Cebu City Fire Department, whose operation has already been transferred to the Parian Fire Station area.
Mayor Rama insisted that the lot where the BFP building stands is owned by the city government. But the lady fire officer also insisted that the bureau did not relinquish its ownership of the property since it was donated by the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC-INP) in 1984.
We are talking here of ownership and I think only the court can resolve that But it will be a protracted legal battle. However, as of this time, nobody has initiated a legal move.
Even if CCMC’s stay in the area is temporary, the BFP building is not conducive to be a hospital. Why can't the city find or rent an area to be the temporary hospital, a place where patients can be comfortable, pending the installation of that big tent or the construction of the new and well-equipped city hospital?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 06, 2013.