THE Commission on Audit (COA) has questioned the P90.2 million payment that Cebu City Government made to the contractor of the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) despite failure to submit some needed documents.
The P90.2 million is the first partial payment representing 17.52 percent work accomplishment for the phase 1 of CCMC.
The phase 1 of the project has a contract cost of P514.9 million, which forms part of the P1.5 billion total cost of the entire project.
In its annual audit report for 2016, COA suspended the P90.2 million payment to C.E. Padilla Construction Inc. due to its failure to submit documents, such as certified true copy of the certification of authority of BF General Insurance Company Inc. issued by the Insurance Commission with the validity period from July 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2015.
The contractor only attached a certificate of authority that was only valid until 12:00 midnight of June 30, 2015. C.E. Padilla also failed to submit a certified true copy of the building permit that the City issued for the project.
City Engineer Josefa Ylanan said they also noted the same when they made an evaluation of the project sometime in June last year, before Mayor Tomas Osmeña assumed office.
It was then acting mayor Margarita Osmeña who issued the suspension of works for CCMC pending the compliance of contractor on the permit that they need to secure.
The building permit was not processed because the ownership of a portion of the 4,000-square-meter lot on Panganiban St., the site of the 10-story hospital, had yet to be established that time. It was only in September last year when the contractor complied with the permit.
The project officially started on July 23, 2015 as stated in the statement of work accomplishment that the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) submitted. COA asked the City to direct concern officials and employees to submit the required documents and demand deficiencies and inconsistencies that they noted.
“I can’t explain for them (previous officials) because I was even the one who recommended the suspension of works for the project for lack of permit. Work on the project is now on track,” Ylanan told SunStar Cebu.
It its comment to COA, the City said the current Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for Infrastructure and Consulting Services is not privy to the reasons of the previous administration’s failure to comply with the requirements.
They, however, started to implement remedies to comply with the requirements mandated under Section 37.1.6 and 37.4.2 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184.
“Right now, we’re making sure that the project is well-monitored. I assigned a project engineer there from DEPW who will constantly check the works of the project to make sure that it will be on track,” Ylanan said.
Ylanan said they’re expecting that first four floors of the new hospital will be completed this month as directed by Osmeña.
“The mayor wants that after the construction of the first four floors, it will be operational already and we are trying our best to comply,” she said.
When sought for comment, former Mayor Michael Rama said he has no idea about the payment since the financial aspect of the project concerns the City Treasurer’s Office.
“I don’t get involved in them getting paid. If we paid them, they must sent us a billing because we can’t process payment without it,” he said.
Rama assured that he will inquire former city administrator Lucelle Mercado on the matter.
SunStar Cebu tried to get the side of C.E. Padilla but no one is available for an interview. (RVC)