Construction of medical center stalled

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Sunday, August 31, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- The Medical City, which is located inside the Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) here, will not be completed by December in time for a series of meetings in January 2015 in relation to the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) Summit.

This was according to the Peregrine Development International Incorporated (Peregrine), the main contractor of the GGLC project, which is being implemented by the Global Gateway Development Corporation (GGDC).

Dennis Wright, president and chief executive officer of Peregrine, said this is just a mere “press release” of GGDC, which misled the public about the real situation inside the logistics center.

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Construction works inside the 177-hectare GGLC stopped and almost 700 construction and office workers were laid off following the dispute, he added.

The GGDC stopped funding the construction works in June this year.

“Everything stopped including construction of our fuel station and plaza,” Wright said.

Wright and Jeff Pradhan, Peregrine vice president for sales and marketing, showed to media last week that works at the hospital had been stalled.

The newsmen spotted a few personnel inside the building but Pradhan said the workers belong to a skeletal force which is maintaining and securing the building.

They also showed two Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines worth $2 million each installed inside an air-conditioned room.

Pradhan also said it is “impossible” to complete the hospital’s interior on time.

Peregrine filed a formal complaint before the Regional Trial Court in Angeles City claiming that GGDC of unilaterally and unjustly terminated their contract.

For their part, GGDC officials said that construction works inside the GGLC already resumed and that they recently dispatched more than 500 workers on the site.

They also claimed that the hospital, which is now 97 percent finish, will be completed by December.

The two firms are now engaged in legal and media battle.

Clark Development Corporation (CDC) President Arthur Tugade earlier appealed to the two firms to finish the $40-million dispensary before the Apec meeting.

Tugade clarified that CDC has no reason to interfere in the internal dispute of GGDC and Peregrine except when situations affect or delay development inside the Freeport.
 
“The CDC will not get involved with their internal dispute. The problem is obviously being addressed. But we are persuading them to finish their work before the APEC meetings in January next year,” Tugade said.
 
Clark will host one of the 2015 APEC meetings set from January 6 to February 10.

Tugade said all infrastructure projects inside the Freeport must be completed by the end of the year.
 
“We will be hosting around 1,200 APEC delegates and guests by January 2015 that is why we already made some assessment on the accommodations like the hotels and convention centers, and expediting constructions or improvements so we can show off the development inside our zone. My target is December,’’ he added.
 
The TMC, touted as a world-class medical center, is envisioned to be the primary part of the aviation complex of the Clark International Airport (CRK) and the Clark Freeport.
 
The hospital is expected to serve Clark and adjacent municipalities in Central and Northern Luzon.

It is also foreseen as an excellent platform for building international tourism base given its location next to the airport.
 
Tugade expressed optimism that the parties concerned could arrive at a common goal to ensure peace and stability inside Clark and avoid delays in construction.

The state-run agency is tasked to manage the Freeport and Clark Special Economic Zone -- two contiguous areas in Pampanga and Tarlac that are considered one of the fastest growing investment destinations in the country today. 

It also oversees the day-to-day affairs in Clark, ensuring that a viable business environment is enjoyed by locators and investors, employees, residents, local communities and all other stakeholders. 

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 01, 2014.

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