THE PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) has renewed calls to build a new national stadium after flooding once again ruined facilities inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia said nearly all indoor venues inside the historic complex located at the flood-prone district of Malate in Manila were damaged by the heavy monsoon rains caused by storm ‘Maring’ this week.
Garcia said the flood waters entered the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, badminton hall, gymnastics center, and even the media center after deep floods on Pablo Ocampo Street spilled over into the complex.
Even the Ninoy Aquino Stadium fronting Adriatico Street was not spared by floods, just weeks after it was refurbished to the tune of millions when it was used as a satellite venue for the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship early this month.
Garcia said now could be the time to find a place for a new sports complex to replace the 79-year-old sports complex, which has been time and again damaged by floods.
The PSC as well as the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have been adamant about selling the entire complex, with part of the proceeds going to the construction of a new sports facility either at the former Clark Air Base in Angeles City or in another area in Rizal province.
“Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit gusto na rin namin umalis diyan at makalipat sa ibang lugar para hindi na babahain,” said Garcia. “Sa ganitong sistema, para hindi tayo gastos ng gastos, isang gastos na lang (for a new stadium) na hindi binabaha para wala tayong ganitong problema.”
Garcia said the government sports agency will allocate a still to be determined budget for the repairs inside the sports complex. He added it might take some time for the venues to be repaired and fit to host competition again because of the effects of the flooding.
As it is, the UAAP badminton competitions that were supposed to open this weekend at the said venue have been postponed as the badminton hall is still unfit for play.