KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 19 November) — The City Government has granted the request of the management of Eva’s Hotel for another 15-day extension to start the demolition of the building that collapsed when the Magnitude 6.5 quake struck on October 31.
It was the fourth Magnitude 6 quake that jolted the city and neighboring areas between October 16 and 31: Magnitude 6.3 on October 16, 6.6 and 6.1 on October 29 and 6.5 on October 31.
Engineer Alan Balgos, head of the Kidapawan City Demolition and Enforcement Unit (KCDEU), said they decided to give the management time to enter into an agreement with a private contractor that would execute the demolition.
Earlier, the city government granted the seven-day extension the management requested. The extension ended on November 15. The second extension, this time for 15 days, was granted on November 18.
“We were told the hotel management and the private construction firm have yet to agree on the terms and conditions of the contract,” said Balgos.
If the negotiations fail, however, Balgos said the city government will take over and demolish the building
In a meeting on Monday, the KDCEU passed a resolution requesting the Sangguniang Panglungsod to allow Mayor Joseph Evangelista to enter into a contract with a private firm that would spearhead the job.
“Should the management fail to conduct the demolition… the city (government) will shoulder the expenses. And whatever valuable materials from the hotel that would be recovered during the demolition would be kept or stored and place on auction. That also includes the lot. We will just collect from the management the balance if ever this won’t be enough to pay for all the expenses the city government will incur during the demolition,” said Balgos.
There are at least three construction firms reportedly being considered for the project.
Balgos said the city government just wants the hotel demolished, ‘as soon as possible’.
“Ang iniisip natin ang kapakanan ng publiko. Kung hindi sila gumalaw, paano na lang ang ibang mga establisiemento na nakapalibot sa hotel” (What we are after is the safety of the public. If they don’t move, what will happen to the other establishments surrounding the hotel), said the engineer.
Several establishments near the damaged hotel – among them the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital, Inc., two famous food chains, private clinics, and several houses, have remained closed as the damaged building poses risks to the public. (Malu Cadelina- Manar / MindaNews)