LESS than two weeks from now, the Cebu City Government will celebrate its 79th Charter Day anniversary.
But can the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) and C.E. Padilla Construction do what Mayor Michael Rama wants them to accomplish by Feb. 24? He has asked them to build four floors out of the 10 planned for the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).
“That remains our target since that is what we committed to the mayor. We are not wavering on our target,” said DEPW chief Engr. Jose Marie Poblete, whose office is overseeing the work on the project.
So far, though, the contractor has put up the rebars for two floors.
In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Poblete explained that the hospital is being built by block, to leave space for the heavy equipment to move around the site.
This is also being done considering that the property the contractor is working on is not just a plain cube-shaped or rectangular property like most construction sites in the city.
He said the 1.2-hectare lot where the hospital will stand was divided into three blocks.
“So we will raise the floors on a per-block basis. Once one block is completed, we will move to the other block and construct another four floors,” he said.
Poblete said what the contractor is working on right now is raising the four floors on the block near N. Bacalso Ave., which they are hoping they can finish by Feb. 24.
The city engineering office said, though, that the pile drives for the foundation of the entire 10-storey building have already been finished.
Poblete said they are also optimistic they can finish the concrete slabs for the four floors by Feb. 24.
To meet all these, Poblete said the contractor is implementing two to three work shifts, which means that they are working even at night. Poblete said the contractor has more than 100 workers deployed for the project.
“The good thing is the materials are all there. Barring unfavorable weather conditions, there is a big chance that we will achieve what we desire,” he said.
But while they are fast-tracking the construction of the four floors of the building, Poblete assured that they are making sure that the work on the project will not be jeopardized.
He said the engineers of the DEPW are on the site monitoring the contractor’s progress. He also said they make sure a DEPW engineer is present whenever there is concrete pouring at the site.
It was in October last year when Mayor Michael Rama asked C.E Padilla to speed up the construction of the CCMC.
He wanted significant progress when the City celebrates its Charter Day, and also because it is an election year.
The mayor met with the DEPW, project engineers and the contractor last Feb. 3.
During their meeting, Rama spelled out what needed to be done in order to meet the target accomplishment.
These included implementing three shifts, making sure materials and the equipment are available to avoid any delays, hoping that the weather will favor them, and following the work schedule strictly.
Poblete said the contractor made up a separate schedule just for the construction of the four floors.
Rama also intends to meet with them every week.
The mayor said he is hoping that the target will be accomplished. But he added that the work should not be rushed for the sake of rushing it, so as not to jeopardize the structural integrity of the new hospital.
As to their entire project accomplishment, Poblete reported that they are already finished 27 percent of it and were seven percent ahead of schedule as of Feb. 6.
Construction of the entire hospital building is expected to be finished by April 2017.
The contractor had earlier said that the new CCMC will be able to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake.
The cost for the construction of the CCMC amounts to P1.5 billion but the first phase of the project amounts to around P515 million.
The old CCMC building was demolished after it was heavily damaged by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Cebu and Bohol last Oct. 15, 2013.