Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has asked Malacanang for funds to repair the damages sustained by the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City during the recent calamities.
The building was abandoned after it suffered major damages when Cebu as well as Bohol, Syquijor and the Negros provinces were rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last October 15.
It was further ravaged by Typhoon “Yolanda” that visited central Philippines early last November.
Davide has been a vocal critic of past administration of former governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s alleged corruption in the construction of CICC.
He and other critics said the construction budget was overpriced by P800 million. Up to now, Cebu province is still indebted for the CICC construction by as much as P607 million to private contractors.
The structure was allegedly built in haste and on a tight schedule of just a few months in 2006 after then-President Arroyo declared that Cebu would host the ASEAN Summit in January 2007.
Until it was abandoned recently, the Philippine Exhibits and Management Corporation (Petco) had managed the facility for a cost of P200,000 per month.
The calamities destroyed the CICC’s water storage tank and electrical wirings, while the interior walls suffered cracks and many of the exteriors crumbled to the ground.
The internal structures were also deemed unsafe, with the gypsum board ceilings collapsing and many of the glass panels broken or cracked.
Moreover, most of the summit and exhibit halls, function rooms, and comfort rooms sustained damages of various degrees.
Officials estimated that P32 million are needed to repair the damage; however, a total P70 million was reportedly needed to rehabilitate the facility and ensure its safety.
Davide said he would have left the building as is if it were not identified as venue for two important international events: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference next year and the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.
Recently, the governor met with Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes to discuss plans for the CICC repair.
Davide also revealed that the provincial government might ask for financial assistance from the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the rehabilitation efforts.
He added that he is set to meet with the CICC board next week to discuss what needs to be done to the building.