Espina firm expresses dismay as city won’t pay for CCMC design
A private engineering and architectural firm that designed and supervised the construction of Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) has expressed dismay over the opinion of the City Legal Office that the city government has no basis in paying P33.3 million for its services.
Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates, in a statement, said when former mayor Michael Rama requested for their help, they were informed that the city will appropriate funds from private entities to cover for their fees.
“The mayor’s word was good enough for us to proceed; we had no reason to doubt his intentions then, and we do not doubt it now. We think that the mayor was doing his best to alleviate the situation at the hospital,” a portion of the statement read.
Omar Maxwell Espina explained that they are fully aware of the requirements of the RA 9184 or The Government Procurement Reform Act.
If a firm is hired for consultancy services, there has to be a competitive public bidding which is a preferred mode of award for all government procurements.
Espina said RA 9184 also contains provisions for alternative procurement as in the case of emergencies such as the magnitude 7.2 earthquake which heavily damaged the CCMC.
The first billing of the Espina firm did not include the P8.5-million fee for the Schematic Design Phase which was prepared pro bono or for free.
Espina explained that the regular service of the architect is composed of four phases which also includes the Design Development Phase, the Contract Document Phase and the Construction Supervision Phase.
When they were asked by Rama to help out again, Espina said they raised the concern regarding the “considerable expense” in producing the detailed architectural and engineering drawings and other documents.
“The esprit d’corps there is truly laudable and it is for this reason that I think our efforts are well worth it, even if this administration does not see it fit to pay for our services,” he said.
Earlier, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said City Hall will not pay the first billing sent by Architect Mischa Maxime Espina of the Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates.
Espina said the “internecine and unending politicking” among city’s politicians concern them. He said he was especially “disheartened” by the statements of Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.
To recall, Labella commented that the firm should present a Notice of Award and resolution from the Bids and Awards Committee as a proof that they were formally contracted by the city to do the design and supervision of the new hospital.
“He (Labella), of all people, should know what Mayor Rama’s intentions were regarding our engagement. He could very well have enlightened the council. He is something else,” he said.
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