Capitol explains P83M consultancies

By: PR November 09,2015 - 07:41 PM
TYPHGOON YOLANDA/NOV 8,2013: The Daanbantayan street in nothern Cebu after the super typhoon Yolanda.(CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

Yolanda aftermath in Daanbantayan, Northern Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

What Cebu Gov. Hilario David III says about P26 million consultancy for DRRM training and planning, and P57 million consultancy for construction of a 12-story DRR Resource Command Center?

Our critics have made misleading and malicious statements on two Capitol consultancy projects.

Both consultancies are necessary and are above board. In fact, the projects are in line with two of our Six Key Agenda, on disaster preparedness and investment promotion.

This Administration has always been open and transparent. We follow standard procedures. During the bidding process, the Commission on Audit (COA) was invited and was present, and even asked questions. Both consultancies had budgets approved by our Provincial Board. Moreover, the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) consultancy went thru the Provincial Development Council (PDC) which have mayors and the private sector as members. This participative process happened only in the present administration. In the previous leadership, the PDC was a one-man team.

How then can these consultancies be anomalous? Only scandalous and shortsighted people can see it that way. People with anomalous minds, used to anomalous ways can attribute anomalous motives to others.

The first contract questioned was the consultancy on the design and feasibility of a proposed 12-storey building. We have to rebuild the old and dilapidated BAEX building beside the main Capitol building, after it was badly damaged by the earthquake and declared unsafe by structural engineers and the Office of the Building Official (OBO). We badly need office space, after the closure of the BAEX building.

The proposed 12 storey building will house mainly a Resource Command Center for Disaster Risk Reduction, and include our own offices as well as commercial spaces in a mixed use concept. We expect to earn from the lease of commercial spaces.

We decided to segregate the design and build phases for the building to ensure that all our proposed uses will be incorporated and well considered. This study has a wide scope to include: detailed engineering and architectural design, feasibility and construction supervision. It will also have an environmental impact assessment study. It also covers designing for civil, mechanical, electrical works.

Total lot area is 1792 sq. meters, and the total floor area is around 21,504 sq. meters. The costing of the study is based on industry practice and is within industry standards. We are undertaking this major capital outlay with careful and thorough studies. Did they do the same with the CICC?

We have to outsource this because the competency of our Engineering Department is in horizontal designing (e.g. roads) and their experience for vertical developments is only for 2-storey school buildings.

The design and feasibility study is a requirement for the next phases, construction and operation, where we shall be collaborating with funding agencies and/or the private sector in possible Private Public Partnerships.(PPPs) . We will make sure also that this initial cost of P57 M will already be our equity in the PPP or joint venture . If it will be outright construction, we will make sure that the contractor absorbs the cost of the pre-construction phase. So this is no unnecessary expenditure, this is an INVESTMENT.

I would like to assure the Cebuanos that the proposed building will NEVER be a white elephant. NEVER AGAIN.

The second consultancy that was questioned is part of Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Cebu Province’s Local Governance: the Development of DRRM-CCA and Contingency Plans of 51 LGUs of Cebu.

Our PDRRMO office is tasked to build the local capacity of the communities in terms of preparedness, response and more importantly, of becoming resilient to disasters and adaptive to climate change. A large part of preparedness for LGUs is the risk assessment, detailed contingency plan and DRRM-CCA plans. This is what this contract is all about, and our critics say this is unnecessary? This is mandated by law under RA 10121.

The proposed consultancy will provide various capacity building activities that would better prepare LGUs during disasters. It will include the first of 4 phases of the Mainstreaming Program – inception planning and formulation of framework, design of the capacity building/training program, formulation of plans for the DRRM-CCA, and Contingency Planning. The scope will entail 7 months of trainings, workshops, and consultations, the outputs of which can be used even at barangay level. Budget is only at approximately P500T per municipality for 7 months work. This is our support to our 51 component cities and municipalities. This will even be helpful for the next Governor’s DRR program.

The political season is upon us. Our opponents will try to twist every legitimate process to their advantage. While they desperately do that, we will continue to do our work diligently and transparently.

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TAGS: Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, COA, Never Again, OBO, PDC, PPP, Winston Garcia

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