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City won’t pay for CCMC design

An artist's rendition of the design of the new Cebu City Medical Center building. FILE IMAGE

CEBU, Philippines - An architectural firm wants the Cebu City government to pay up to P33.3 million in professional fee for the architectural and engineering design of the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) building but the city refuses to do so.

"Who hired him? He already admitted it that he will not collect (fees from the government)," Osmeña said, referring to Mischa Maxime “Miko” Espina, the architect who sent him a letter that stipulated the firm’s first bill.

Espina belongs to Espina, Perez-Espina and Associates.

Osmeña said the previous administration did not follow the process of choosing a consultant who will undertake the architectural and engineering design of the hospital.

Espina declined to comment.

"I am sorry but we cannot entertain any comments at this time," he said in a text message to The FREEMAN.

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The City Council has asked the City Legal Office to render an opinion whether or not the city should pay the firm.

In a July 21 legal opinion, legal officer Bernard Inocentes Garcia said the mayor has not signed a Notice of Award in favor of the firm. The Bids and Awards Committee also has not issued a resolution recommending the mayor to award the contract to the firm.

The legal opinion was approved by City Legal Officer Joseph Bernaldez.

"It is basic in our Obligation and Contracts that one who demands payment must produce the basis upon which the demand is based. More so, Republic Act. No. 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act,” provides that all government procurement for infrastructure projects, goods, and consulting services shall be done through competitive public bidding, except as provided under the alternative modes of procurement," reads the legal opinion.

Garcia said Section 10 of RA 9184 provides that all procurement shall be done through competitive bidding, adding that competitive public bidding is the preferred mode of award for all government procurement including consulting services.

In the alleged procurement of the consulting service of Espina, Perez-Espina and Associates, Garcia said it is important that the strict requirements of RA No. 9184 should have been complied with.

He said it is basic that the Notice of Award signed by the mayor in favor of the firm must be produced before payment is made, adding, that an equally important requirement is the Bids and Awards Committee resolution recommending to the mayor the award of the contract of the said firm.

"This office finds that the City Government has no basis to pay Espina, Perez-Espina and Associates the amount of P33,320,000 for the architectural and engineering design and supervision in the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center, unless Notice of Award signed by the mayor and the BAC resolution are produced," reads the legal opinion.

The Council will furnish the firm a copy of the legal opinion. (FREEMAN)


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