TWO months after the Cebu City Government sent a letter to formally terminate the P907 million contract with M.E. Sicat Construction Inc. over delays in the construction of the eighth to 10th floors of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), work on the building continues to be stalled amid the lack of updates on how the project will be completed.

Mayor Michael Rama sent a letter of intent to terminate the contract for Phase 4 of the CCMC, to M.E. Sicat Construction president and chief executive officer Michael Allan Sicat on January 20, 2023 yet.

The Contract Termination Review Committee headed by lawyer Carlo Vincent Gimena had passed a resolution for the “mutual termination” after the contractor agreed to stop working on the CCMC, following Rama’s order last Nov. 9 to terminate the Cebu City Government’s contract with the contractor.

“Upon recommendation of the Contract Termination Review Committee (CTRC) through its Resolution No. CTRC-001-2023 dated January 18, 2023 which has been attached herewith and made an integral part hereof, I, being the Head of the Procuring Entity (HoPE) of the Cebu City government, hereby approve said recommendation, and mutually terminate the Construction Agreement dated April 6, 2022 entered into by and between the Cebu City government and ME. Sicat Construction Inc.,” according to Rama in his letter.

Collin Rosell, executive secretary to the mayor, said for the completion of the project, it may be placed under public-private partnership.

Last November, Rama said he would no longer undertake any public biddings for the project, adding that the bids and awards committee would find a way for the City Government to finish the CCMC without having to spend a single centavo for it.

He said a Cebuano philanthropist was willing to help finish the construction of the 10-story facility.

However, more than four months after he ordered work on the project stopped last Nov. 10, Rama has still not announced who will take over the construction of the building, when alleged delays in the building’s completion were what prompted him to boot out the joint venture of M.E. Sicat and Avecs Corp. from the project just seven months into their 19-month contract in the first place.

During Cebu City’s 86th Charter Day last Feb. 24, Rama said he wanted the hospital to be fully functional by November 2023.

M.E. Sicat won the bidding in April 2022 to finish Phase 4 of the project, which involved the construction of the eighth to 10th floors and the completion of the interiors of the third and fourth floors.

However, last Nov. 9, Rama said he would terminate the contract with M.E. Sicat as he could no longer bear the delay in the completion of the public hospital, whose construction was started in 2015 yet during his second term as mayor.

When the work was stopped last November, Sicat said they were still finishing the third and fourth floors, while construction of the eighth to tenth floors was on hold because they were still doing tests to check if the first to sixth floors were done properly, as they were not the ones who had built the first six floors. (PAC / TPT, CTL)