Capitol to appeal on CICC payment

THE additional works done by a contractor on the Cebu International Convention Center did not go through bidding and approval of the Provincial Board, and should not have been paid by the previous administration, said Gov. Hilario Davide III.

Davide said the Provincial Government will file a motion for reconsideration once they will receive a copy of the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision asking the Province to pay six interest per year for the additional works done by WT Construction Inc.

Davide, together with Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, inspected the CICC in the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City yesterday.

Capitol had paid more than P257 million to WT in 2010, which is the amount due for the additional works on the CICC. It was paid through two vouchers–P136,941,000 under voucher number 2010-02-005693 and P120,472,911 through voucher number 2010-03-011865.

According to the SC decision dated Sept. 16, WT Construction won the bidding for the construction of the CICC for phases one and two.

The contractor was working on the second phase of the project when the Province requested additional works, including site development, and additional structural, architectural, electrical and plumbing works.

SC asked the Capitol to pay the interest, which is six percent per annum, contrary to reports that the Capitol should pay the principal amount of P257 million.

Provincial Legal Officer Orvi Ortega said the Capitol will have to pay the interest for two years from the time WT Construction filed the complaint in 2008 until 2010 when the Capitol had fully paid the P257 million.The CICC was built during the administration of former governor and now Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu, third district) for the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in 2007.

In an interview, Davide said there are only two issues mentioned in the SC’s decision---whether or not the liability of the Province is in the nature of a loan or forbearance of money, and whether or not the interest should be computed from the date of the filing of the complaint or from the time the extra judicial demand was made.

Davide said it was not indicated in the decision that Garcia was vindicated of the criminal cases on the alleged irregularities when the CICC was constructed.

“Now on the contrary, akong tan-aw niini (for me), the decision confirms the lack of foresight of the former governor. Why? Nganung magkinahanglan pa man og (Why did they still need the) additional works? Nganung wala man ni ma-anticipate pagpatukod sa phase one ug phase two sa (Why they did not anticipate these works when the phase 1 and phase 2 was constructed for) CICC,” he said.

Davide said the Province’s position that it will not pay the contracts entered into by the previous administration without PB approval remains, but if there is an order from the SC and the Province sees that the decision is right, “we will accede, we will abide with the decision of the Supreme Court.”

Magpale showed yesterday the breakdown of the total cost for the construction of the CICC. Its total construction cost was more than P840,000.

She confirmed that the additional works on the CICC did not have PB approval.

In a text message, Garcia described Davide’s inspection of the CICC as “hilarious.”

“This Governor Hilario Davide is hilarious. Is he there to inspect his own criminal neglect of the CICC, which has gone on for more than 2 years now?” she said.

Davide said he will meet with the organizers of Cebuanos for Good Governance and Development, the group that placed the “Never Again” streamer on the CICC, next week to suggest to the group to put up another banner indicating the cost of the building to show that it “was grossly overpriced.”


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