CLARK FREEPORT --- Officials of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) clarified Thursday that they are willing to pay P22 million for the construction of Sacobia Bridge.

CDC president Benigno Ricafort said the amount represents the original cost of the bridge and additional charges including interest, cost adjustment, among others, which are due to the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) and the Ciriaco Construction Corporation.

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The PNCC and Ciriaco Construction, which completed the bridge on June 10, 2008, reportedly refused the payment saying the CDC should pay them about P200 million for the project.

The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and the Office of the President (OP), with the affirmation of the Department of Justice, have ordered the CDC to pay the PNCC and Ciriaco "the judgment award in the decision dated 18 Dec. 2008" which covered P1,739,526.79, representing the unpaid Progress Billing No. 8; P15,953,264.90, representing the unpaid Final Billing; P153,011,677.60, representing the foreign currency price adjustment; and legal interest on the afore-mentioned amounts at the rate of 6 percent per annum from the time of the filing of this petition or from Nov. 7, 2006, until finality of the judgment and 12 percent thereafter until full satisfaction."

But the CDC refused to pay the amount stating that it is not included in the original contract and budget.

Ricafort said the OGCC has no jurisdiction over the case because there was a private firm (Ciriaco Corporation) participating in the project.

The OGCC can only intervene if two government agencies are engaged in any transaction or agreement.

The Construction Industry Arbitration Commission under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the agency which has jurisdiction over the case, according to Ricafort. (Reynaldo G. Navales)