Senator Lito Lapid has urged concerned agencies to make sure that sports facilities – funded by public funds – will not end up as “white elephants.”
Lapid, chairman of the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement, has raised the need to ensure the sustainable rehabilitation and maintenance of all the government-funded sports facilities.
Some of these sports facilities were built and refurbished for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. “The people’s money must not be put to waste,” he said.
These facilities must not end up as “white elephants” or big budget infrastructure projects that turned out to be sparingly used or of no use at all, with maintenance costs eating up more than whatever income they generate, he said.
“Dapat natin siguruhin na hindi masasayang ang pera ng bayan na inilaan natin para itayo at ayusin ang mga pasilidad na ito para sa ating mga sports competitions, at lalung-lalo na para sa ating mga atleta,” Lapid said.
He reiterated that the “stagnation and degradation of these sports facilities must be avoided at all costs” and that Congress must do its part in looking after the nation’s investment in building these infrastructures.
Lapid said that the government has the responsibility to guarantee that the different facilities and venues constructed, renovated and repaired for the SEA Games are properly and sustainably maintained.
As the host country of the 30th SEA Games, the Philippines allotted P6 billion for hosting expenses alone.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) gave a financial boost to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) amounting to P842.5 million for the renovation of facilities for SEA Games, including the 85 year-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the Multi-Purpose Arena at the Philsports Complex, and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.