THE lack of coordination between the Cebu Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the Department of Health (DOH) resulted in the loss of P790,513.75—part of the government fund that was used in repairing the administrative building of the provincial hospital in Bogo City.
According to its 2018 audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) found out that the administrative building was still repaired even if there was a plan to destroy it as part of the Master Site Development Plan (MSDP), a project aimed to upgrade the hospital’s status.
State auditors said the resulting deficiencies were due to lack of coordination between the PEO and the DOH.
“The provincial engineer should have been aware of the plan to demolish the admin building as indicated in the master plan. Thus, the repair of the admin building should not have been undertaken to avoid wastage of government funds,” according to the state auditors.
The provincial engineer explained that as early as March 20, 2015, the project for the construction, expansion and renovation of the hospital, which included the repair of the administrative building, had been approved under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) of the DOH.
However, state auditors said “knowing that the renovation of the hospital was already approved under the HFEP, the PEO has more reason to coordinate with the DOH before having it funded by the Provincial Government.”
On March 1, 2017, the Province implemented its project to repair and improve the hospital. The contract cost was P17,946,592.53.
Of the budget, P1.89 million was set aside for the renovation and repairs of the hospital’s administrative building and P114,740.77 for the improvement of its laboratory.
On Dec. 12, 2017, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started constructing the two-story building, which, according to the MSDP, would have a helipad and house the operating room, a new administrative office and a nursing ward. The building is a component of MSDP in upgrading the hospital to secondary-level classification.
The existing administrative building was marked “for demolition” in the MSDP as the “new building that is being constructed by the DPWH already provides for an administrative office area,” according to the COA report.
The repair of the existing administrative building was still continued and it was completed and occupied during the ocular inspection of the state auditors on Sept. 20, 2018.
Nine days earlier, Sept. 11, the chief of hospital requested for the inspection of the newly renovated administration building, a portion of which was subject for demolition to give space to the construction undertaken by the DPWH.
Based on the computation of the COA’s technical personnel who conducted the inspection, the portion that was to be demolished entailed an estimated cost of P564,837.68.
On Jan. 10, 2019, the state auditors received a second letter, which requested for another inspection on the same administrative building. The back portion was about to be demolished to give way to the constrution of four hospital buildings. The cost of the portion to be demolished was computed by the COA’s technical personnel at P225,676.07, bringing the total cost of demolition to P790,513.75.
On Dec. 29, 2017, the DOH 7 issued the notice to proceed for the Province’s project “One Job Order for Labor and Materials for the Repair/Renovation of CPH (Cebu Provincial Hospital) and Construction of Support Facility (Severo Verallo Memorial Hospital)” in Barangay Taytayan for a contract cost of P8.38 million. The work items included the conversion of conference room, laboratory room, X-ray room to public toilet, emergency room treatment and observation areas.
The state auditors noted that during their ocular inspection the implementation of the other unfinished work items of the Province’s project—the repair of the CPH—was suspended. According to the project status report as of Dec. 31, 2018, the project was suspended with a percentage of completion of 62.3 percent.
The reason behind the suspension was due to the contractor’s request for time extension pending approval of revision plans.
The project was supposed to be completed on Feb. 27, 2018. The percentage of completion was 62.55 percent with total payments of P10.696 million.
“It was noted that among the causes for the revision of plans was due to the overlapping and incompabilities of work items in the Province’s project with that of the DOH,” a portion of the 2018 audit report read. (KAL)