Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has the right to say that he is not satisfied with the work of M.E. Sicat Construction in completing the work on the four remaining floors (the seventh floor up to the tenth floor) of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).
As the city’s highest elective leader, Rama could be questioned by his constituents if he could not complete the projects under his term or if he could not deliver on his promises.
Rama said on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 that he had decided to cancel the City Government’s contract with M.E. Sicat Construction. He said he could no longer bear the delay in the completion of CCMC, whose construction started in 2015 during his second term as mayor after it was damaged by the 2013 earthquake.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, hundreds of construction workers were barred from entering their worksite.
Is this the right process? Did the mayor’s office already issue an official document that terminates the City’s contract with the construction firm? Did his team already meet with M.E. Sicat Construction’s management?
If the contract cancellation was only a verbal statement, then one could ask the mayor: Why were the construction workers not allowed to enter the site?
There are other questions, too. Is Rama’s move to terminate the contract legal? What if the construction firm would bring the matter to court? If the firm would seek legal remedy, CCMC’s completion would be further delayed. City residents would have to wait longer.
M.E. Sicat Construction president Michael Allan Sicat has said that he was compliant with the contract as his joint venture had been given 570 calendar days from April 6, 2022 to complete the remaining floors of the hospital. Sicat said they could not start their structural works until they are certain of the strength of the hospital’s foundation. His company did not start the CCMC’s construction in 2015.
Mayor Rama must tell the public the specific violations committed by M.E. Sicat Construction. He must produce evidence so his constituents would believe him.
To say that he’s dismayed with the construction delay is explicitly vague. He must speak in plain language with supporting facts so he can be easily understood.
Editorial Cartoon by Enrico Santisas
November 11, 2022
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