Iloilo Convention Center may not be finished on time

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THE Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) is at risk of not being completed next year because of the apprehension of some contractors to participate in the bidding for the second phase of the project.

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According to Senate President Franklin Drilon, contractors and other participants are having second thoughts in joining the bidding for the second phase of the project, because their names and businesses might be dragged into the controversy hounding the ICC.

Drilon, along with Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez are currently facing plunder complaints filed by former Iloilo Province administrator Manuel Mojarada in relation to the alleged overpriced P700-million ICC project.

The ICC, a pet project of Drilon, is said to be overpriced by more than P500 million, but Mejorada admitted during the recent Senate Blue Ribbon committee that he has yet to obtain evidence to substantiate his claims.

But Drilon said that despite the failure of Mejorada to come up with evidence proving his allegations, potential contractors are hesitant to join the bidding process because of the negative publicity caused by the accusations of the former Iloilo official.

“Because of the malicious and baseless allegations against the construction of the ICC, contractors and other participants are getting afraid that their names and businesses will be the next target of lies being concocted, and that their names will be dragged into the issue,” Drilon said.

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