Garcia orders permanent halt of resource center construction

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo July 01,2019 - 06:54 PM

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia inspects the area where the resource center project is undertaken on July 1. | Rosalie O. Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Is it now the end of the 20-story Cebu Provincial Resource Center project?

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in her first executive order on Monday, July 1, has ordered for the “immediate stoppage and permanent discontinuance” of any development relative to the project.

Garcia inspected the construction site, which is at the right side of the Capitol building, after she led the flag raising ceremony this morning. 

The site, which was where the old Bureau of Agriculture Extension (Baex) Building stood, has been dug a few meters deep. 

At least two heavy equipment were found at the area, but none of the workers were there when Garcia came.

Garcia, while at the site, called on to her consultants to estimate the needed amount to backfill the lot.

“Someone is going to answer for this,” she said.

Read more: Garcia tells Davide anew: Prevent more losses, stop resource center project

Vice Governor Hilario Davide III, who was the main proponent of the project when he was governor, said it would be the prerogative of Garcia to issue the executive order.

However, Davide said whether or not the construction of the building should continue would still lie before the court.

Read more: Davide on fate of resource center: Let the courts decide

In her Executive Order No. 1, the governor said the previous administration’s act of proceeding with the project was a direct violation of the Local Government Code as well as the laws on government procurement and the national heritage.

To recall, Vice Governor Hilario Davide III, who was then governor entered into the contract with WT Construction Inc. in February 2019.

This was despite the fact that the Provincial Board had not given him the authority to enter into such a contract.

Davide held on to a Supreme Court decision, which said that the chief executive would not need the approval of the PB for a project that had already been detailed in an appropriation ordinance.

In May 2018, the PB passed Supplemental Budget No. 1, which provided funds for the P1.3 billion cost of the project. The amount had to be taken from a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Garcia, who met with the department heads of the Capitol along with representatives of national line agencies, questioned the validity of the budget ordinance./dbs

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TAGS: center, Davide, Executive Order, Garcia, Gwendolyn, resource, WT Construction

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