PGH's Cancer Center Project's revised cost up for NEDA Board approval

By Anna Leah Gonzales

April 18, 2024, 6:25 pm

MANILA – Changes to the project cost, revised parameters, and terms and conditions of the Cancer Center Project of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Manila will be up for the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board's approval on April 25.

"[There] will be a NEDA Board [meeting] on April 25 so hopefully, it will be approved," Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center Executive Director Cynthia Hernandez said on the sidelines of European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Luncheon in Makati City on Thursday.

In February last year, the NEDA Board first approved the UP-PGH Cancer Center Project.

The Cancer Center Project will be pursued through a Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) contractual arrangement.

The Cancer Center will have a total capacity of 300 beds and will bring together into one facility the 150 existing PGH private beds and 150 existing PGH basic or ward beds, outpatient care, cancer diagnostics, and facilities for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and oncological surgery. As a solicited PPP project, the private partner will design, finance, construct, and commission a new standalone center.

The PPP Center earlier disclosed that prospective bidders include the Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc., Plenary Asia Pte Ltd., Scheirman Construction Consolidated Inc., and Siemens Healthcare Inc.

On Nov. 20, 2023, however, the UP-PGH submitted its request for approval of changes in the parameters, terms, and conditions of the project.

Following such request, the project cost increased from PHP6.05 billion to PHP9.49 billion.

"Some of the assumptions were pre-pandemic, and when they were drafting the detailed terms and conditions, I think PGH realized [that] they need to substantially upgrade the standards especially if they want it to be world class," Hernandez said.

"So there were adjustments to the project cost which necessitated another round of NEDA approvals," she added.

Since some of the bidders also expressed concern about the viability of the project, Hernandez said the new terms and conditions would hopefully "make it more market-friendly."

She said the project is targeted to be awarded within the year. (PNA)