THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) needs around P3.5 billion to build a national training center in Clark, Pampanga, an amount it plans to raise by relinquishing its rights to the age-old Rizal Memorial Complex.
PSC chairman Ritchie Garica bared an earlier plan to raise funds for the construction of the Clark training center through the sale of the Rizal Complex has been abandoned since it is the City of Manila - and not the government sports agency - which owns the historic complex along Vito Cruz.
The PSC, Garcia said, only holds control and management rights on the Rizal complex.
Instead, Garcia said the PSC now plans to relinquish its controlling rights on the Manila complex in exchange for funds which it hopes to channel into the construction of a new training center for national athletes in a vast tract of land being donated by Clark officials.
“We are not selling Rizal. Ang mandate ng PSC is control and management of Rizal. As long as the PSC is there (at the Rizal Complex), it remains under control of the PSC," said Garcia.
“Since we can’t sell it, we plan to relinquish control of Rizal to (city of) Manila in exchange for P3.5 billion. Walang bentahan dito. Binalik lang sa may-ari,” he added.
Garcia said the funding is the only hurdle left in the plan to build a brand-new training center inside the former US naval base.
“We have the site already. It’s only a matter of the PSC transferring from Rizal to Clark. But we don’t have the funds yet,” Garcia said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum in Shakey’s Malate on Tuesday.
“We are in the market looking for P3.5 billion,” the PSC chairman added.
Garcia said another option to pass a bill in Congress that will set aside funds from the national budget for the contruction of the Clark training center may take too long.
That is why the PSC is looking at a faster alternative, he added.
Once the funds become available, Garcia said the PSC is targeting the training center to be finished by the end of 2015.
“We will face it as it comes. Once we have the funds, it will take six to seven months to assemble the structures. You can build a gym in less than 30 days. This should be finished before the end of 2015,” said Garcia.