SUSPENDED and outgoing Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants the current administration to continue the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

This came after Acting Mayor Margarita Osmeña decided to put on hold starting last Monday the construction work on the 10-story facility because the project does not have a building permit yet.

“CCMC should be helped by all. I wish it should not be stalled because time is of the essence to address the plight of the poor,” Rama said in a news conference yesterday.

“I hope that instead of looking for faults, the City Government should be helping rectify the deficiencies for as long as it will not compromise the integrity of the building,” he added.

Rama believes that securing a building permit can be done while the construction is ongoing.

“We are not saying we encourage not having a permit. Permits still have to be part of it but please do not jeopardize when we talk about the people’s hospital. Finish it because it is a good project,” he said.

The outgoing mayor said he didn’t know that the project still doesn’t have a permit, almost one year after construction started.

He explained the matter is being handled mainly by the contractor and the Department of Engineering and Public Works.

For Rama, the issues concerning a portion of the lot where the hospital will stand does not warrant the suspension of the processing of the permit. Construction also shouldn’t be stopped just because the City is still determining who owns a portion of the lot.

He said the new hospital will rise on the same lot where the old CCMC was built during the time of incoming mayor Tomas Osmeña’s father, Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr.

“It was part of yesterday. So why make it an issue today?” he asked.

Rama, whose administration started the construction of the new hospital, pointed out that the new CCMC is important to the poor who cannot afford to go to private hospitals for treatment.

He then appealed to the City Council and to the barangays, most of whom are Team Rama allies, to push for the continuation of the CCMC construction.

“Because that is a dream, that we can come up with a very decent hospital for the poor,” he added.

The City is suspending the civil works for the project for at least two weeks. It will resume after all the permits are complied with.

City Hall pursued the hospital project after the old CCMC was damaged during the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Visayas in 2013.

The target completion date is in April next year.