AFTER shelving a plan to sell the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the Philippine Sports Commission is looking to rehabilitate the historic site with the help of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez said the PSC will seek the technical expertise and even financial support from the two government agencies in the refurbishing and preservation of the aging sports complex.
Built and opened in 1934, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex attracted interest from the group of businessman Enrique Razon, who had planned to preserve the stadium and other historical sites while developing the rest of the property.
"We just thought that we will rehabilitate Rizal in consultation with the NCCA, perhaps in the first quarter of 2018," said Ramirez. "It was more of preserving what Rizal Memorial really is. It's history, it's passion, and it's spirit which is priceless."
Ramirez announced last week that it was no longer selling the complex in a letter to Manila mayor Joseph Estrada.
Ramirez said help from the NCCA and NHCP is needed since the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was recently declared a national historical landmark, which means the sports stadium cannot be rehabilitated without the go-signal of two government agencies..
"In consultation, gusto mag-share ng NCCA and NHCP, they can help us fund. Hindi namin magalaw-galaw," said Ramirez.
Ramirez said the weighing on the decision on whether to sell Rizal Memorial or not gave him sleepless nights.
"Puwede naman kami umalis diyan but I don't want to be blamed by the athletes and the Filipino that it was in my time (that the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was sold)."
"(The decision was made) in consultation with (presidential adviser for sports) Dennis Uy, the executive secretary, and other people," said Ramirez.