Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said he is planning to consult members of the City Council and the general public on the proposal to construct a sports and cultural center/coliseum for Bacolod City.
The project was proposed by Bacolod Councilors Caesar Distrito and Dindo Ramos as chair of the Sanggunian Committee on Budget and Finance and Committee on Youth and Sport, respectively.
Leonardia said he is seriously considering the proposal of some members of the City Council,but he wants to get some feedback. and they will decide on the matterin due time.
Considering the size of the coliseum, they are looking at several possibilities like putting it up behind the Bacolod City Government Center after consulting the donors of the property, or at the Reclamation Area where the city has an 8-hectare property,or evenbuy a new site, he said.
If there are those who want to donate and come up with a proposal, that is a anotherpossibility because Bacolod is growing, Leonardia said.
Since there are still big landholdings here, there might be families who will be willing to donate, and they are open to that, he said.
Leonardia said that if ever they go into a project like this, they have to borrow money, just like in the case of the government center.
They are also considering the Department of Finance because it has a program where, for as low as 3 percent a yearthey, can provide financing depending for the project. They have met with the DOF for exploratory talks, he said.
Distrito said he is optimistic that the mayor will approve their proposal and that of the Grupo Progreso councilors and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, that it is high time for Bacolod City, to have a Sports and Cultural Center/Coliseum preferably to be located at the 8-hectare property of the city at the reclamation area, or in any other area a landowner may be willing to donate his property to the city.
They will utilize the 3 hectares for the coliseum with commercial and office spaces, swimming pool, training areas for athletes and parking lot, and the other 5 hectares can be opened for lease, or for joint ventures with interested commercial or mall developers like SM, AYALA or MEGAWORLD from which the city can earn to help pay whatever will be spent on the structure, he said.
“We will not only have a sports and cultural center, but we will also have another growth and development area that can propel our local economy, produce jobs and generate tourism,” Distrito said.
Leonardia said all this can be studied. “We do not want to just jump into something that will entail a big investment. But I know this is something that Bacolod needs,” he said.*CGS
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