P900 million for Cebu City hospital are all foreign pledges

CEBU City Councilor Joy Pesquera clarified that “not even a single cent” from the foreign countries that pledged to give funds for the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) has been sent to City Hall.

In an interview, the councilor explained that the P900-million she and former mayor Michael Rama generated in solicitation is still in the form of pledges and that the donors are just waiting for the City to send a request asking for the donation.

“They are just waiting for us to ask them to send the money because they also want the City to commit that whatever they will be donating, will be recognized,” Pesquera said.

In his State of the City Address last Tuesday, Mayor Tomas Osmeña challenged both Pesquera and Rama to show the money and receipts they got from the donations when they went abroad to solicit.

He said he will be filing charges against those involved in the “dubious” transaction, which Pesquera said she will readily face.

Sought for comment, Osmeña said Pesquera and Rama should be held accountable for “bragging” about the “intangible” funds for the hospital during the May elections last year.

He demanded the previous administration to present a list of the pledges, or face the wrath of the public for lying.

“Rama means to say that he has been attending all those dinners and yet no one will give a check, not even five dollars? The least I can conclude is that they were deceiving the people,” Osmeña said.

He lamented that if Rama did not order the demolition of the CCMC, the City Government would have spent only P30 million to have the hospital fixed within 90 days.

But since Rama saw the need for a new building, the City had to set aside at least P270 million more than what was deemed necessary, Osmeña said.

“The City now has to come up with P300 million for Phase 1 of the hospital alone. That’s the state of the city. Should I avoid that? Shouldn’t the people know about that?” he said.

In a separate interview, City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo said they are still going over the transactions and documents left by the previous administration involving the CCMC.

Camarillo told SunStar Cebu that among those that she has yet to review is whether the funds raised by the City through the “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” program have been turned over to the CCMC, or have been added to the funds for the construction. (RTF)
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