Garcia tells contractor to complete CCMC’s 3rd floor

Garcia tells contractor to complete CCMC’s 3rd floor
INSPECTION. Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia (second from left) leads the inspection on one of the floors of the Cebu City Medical Center on Monday, July 1, 2024. Garcia has demanded a construction firm complete its works on the third floor of the hospital. / CEBU CITY NEWS AND INFORMATION

CEBU City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has ordered a construction firm to complete its unfinished work on the third floor of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

Garcia expressed his disappointment with the contractor, Garay Construction, following his ocular inspection at CCMC on Monday, July 1.

Speaking at "Beyond the Headlines," SunStar Cebu’s online news and commentary program, Garcia said initial reports indicated that Garay Construction had stopped work after not being paid for their progress billing, a method of invoicing in which a contractor bills a client incrementally based on the percentage of work completed on a project.

“I saw that their work, especially on the third floor, remains unfinished. I think they’re only about 70 to 80 percent complete, particularly for contracts awarded a long time ago,” Garcia said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Garcia plans to call on the contractor for explanations regarding the unfinished work. He added that if initial reports are true, the contractor is obligated to complete all obligations before payment can be made.

Garay Construction could face penalties for delays as liquidated damages under negative slippage in government infrastructure projects, Garcia said. However, he stressed the need to review the cause of delays before taking action against the contractor.

“I want to review it first to determine if their action is justified or if there was a suspension. We have to seek answers first,” Garcia said.

Negative slippage

Negative slippage in government infrastructure projects can be grounds for contract termination, he said. Negative slippage refers to a situation where a contractor is falling behind the approved project schedule.

The CCMC facility has been plagued with delays; after almost a decade, the planned 10-story hospital remains unfinished.

Garcia said the hospital currently operates with three floors.

On the third floor, where a makeshift ward is located, only two-thirds is finished, with the rest remaining bare. The fourth to sixth floors have no interior, while there’s no construction yet on the eighth floor, which was to be funded by private donors.

The seventh floor has seen improvements as it was given to Operation Smile, he added.

Garcia emphasized the need to finish the hospital, as it’s crucial for the people of Cebu. He will comply with the City Council’s request for a transparency report on the breakdown of expenses.

The City Government plans to use savings of around P650 million to fund the rebidding process to complete the fourth to seventh floors of the hospital.

Instead of relying solely on pledges and donations, Garcia said the reported P200 million collected from private donors might be enough to put up a structure but not enough to finish the interior.

Garcia plans to upgrade the hospital to tertiary-level category, with new services to be added after the completion of the fourth floor and above.

The CCMC was damaged in the 2013 Central Visayas earthquake.

The hospital had to be abandoned after suffering cracks on the second- and third-floor columns that made it structurally unfit for use.

In 2014, Mayor Michael Rama ordered the demolition of the old CCMC building due to it being structurally unfit. The construction of the new CCMC started in 2015. / EHP

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