City wants review for P33M payment

CEBU City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos will review the documents submitted by an engineering and architectural firm to check if it has basis to collect P33.3 million for its services in the construction of the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

This came after the City Legal Office said that the City Government has no basis to pay Archt. Mischa Maxime Espina of Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates, unless the firm can produce the notice of award signed by the mayor and the resolution on the procurement of services from the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

In a letter submitted to the City Council dated July 21, Atty. Bernard Inocentes Garcia said it’s important that all requirements of Republic Act (RA) 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, have been complied with.

Section 10 provides that all procurement for infrastructure projects, goods and consulting services shall be done through competitive public bidding, except those provided under the alternative modes of procurement.

Delos Santos, deputy mayor for CCMC, told SunStar Cebu that if the firm fails to produce the documents, the City may not be obligated to pay the fees.

“If my memory serves me right, there is no document. I think it was not attached in the collection document of their first billing submitted to the City Government. The notice of award and BAC resolution are the essential bases for paying the services. I have to verify everything,” she said.

Before Mayor Tomas Osmeña appointed her as deputy mayor for matters involving the city hospital, delos Santos was also appointed as head of the CCMC ad hoc committee by former mayor Michael Rama.

Rama, in a phone interview, declined to comment on the matter until he reads the legal opinion.

“I’ll have to wait until I get a copy so that I can study the opinion and check the situation thoroughly,” he said.

Osmeña earlier called out Rama and said that the latter should be the one to pay the firm since the procurement of consultancy allegedly did not go through proper selection.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach the representatives of Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates for their comment, but calls and texts were unanswered. (RTF)
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