Monday, August 19, 2019

‘City should pay P32M garbage disposal fee’

SINCE Asian Energy Systems Corp. has already rendered its services, the Cebu City Government should pay the close to P32 million it owes the company for garbage disposal.

This was former mayor Michael Rama’s response to Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s refusal to settle with the private firm on the basis of a purchase order (PO).

In a case filed last Nov. 2 before the Regional Trial Court in Parañaque City, Asian Energy alleged that the City Government has unpaid bills for waste disposal services in the amount of P31,991,148. This includes litigation expenses and damages.

Asian Energy operates the private landfill in Consolacion where the City used to dump its garbage. It filed the lawsuit against Osmeña as mayor of the City of Cebu.

The unpaid amount represents the tipping fee for garbage dumped by the City in the facility from March 14 to Aug. 31, 2016.

At that time, no other company allegedly showed interest when biddings were held on March 29 and April 14.

The City started dumping its garbage in Consolacion in December 2011 after the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill was closed by then mayor Rama.

Rama’s administration paid the company on the basis of a PO. This did not sit well with Osmeña, who said that Asian Energy has no contract with the City Government.

He said he won’t let the City pay the P32 million on the basis of a PO because he doesn’t want the Commission on Audit to disallow the transaction.

“It’s better that they sued and let the court decide. Of course, (the City will have to pay) if the court says so. That’s the law,” Osmeña said.

Rama, though, maintained that PO 398 already “constituted a contract” between the firm and the City and, as such, has the force of law between the parties.

The progress billings were covered by PO 398 dated April 27, 2016, which were issued by Rama pursuant to the City Bids and Awards Committee’s resolution dated April 19, 2016.

“Asa man ang illegal? Kanang gi-file sa Asian, I am pretty sure, kung ang usa ka local government unit naka benefit, di na basta-basta lang that you will be sued for civil action. That’s unjust enrichment,” Rama said. (RTF)
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