ROUGH CUTS| The long overdue Davao City Sports Complex

YES, a Davao City Sports Complex must be built now, not starting next year or later. This project is very long overdue for a city like Davao which is touted as the main center of economic and political growth in the whole of Mindanao.

Already, Tagum and Digos Cities have integrated sports complex each where different sports disciplines can be played in one venue since the haven provides for facilities required of the games.

Other major areas in Mindanao have already long put up sports complex of their own. Cagayan de Oro City has its Gregorio Pelaez Sports Complex; Lanao del Norte Province has its integrated sports facility in Tubod town; General Santos City has its Acharon Sports complex. Even cities like Mati and Koronadal which are very small have their own, too.

It is ironic that a city so huge and “moneyed” like Davao, has taken too long to have its own integrated sports complex.

With this latest development we are happy that finally the officials of the city are strongly pushing for the realization of a 20-hectare sports complex estimated to cost P8 billion. We have to appreciate the administration of the University of the Philippines – Mindanao Campus for allowing the complex to be set up in its reservation in Mintal. This is only an indication how the state university puts premium on sports as part of the total package in developing a desirable society in the country.

We would also want to give credit to our representatives in Congress for jointly pushing for the inclusion of the sports complex budget in the 2015 General Appropriations Act. We are lucky though, that we have Davao City’s third district congressman Isidro “Roy” Ungab who heads the powerful Congressional Committee on Appropriations. We have no doubt he is largely instrumental in working out for the multi-billion budget of the project.

We believe however, that the city should be aggressive enough in having the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) it is working on with the UP-Mindanao Campus administration to be fairly beneficial to the local government.

One very critical issue that must be thoroughly discussed is on the administrative and operational management of the complex. Will it be placed under the city, or will the complex be managed and operated by the UP-Mindanao?

Who shall be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the complex? This question, too, must be clearly answered in the MOA so that the sports complex will not become another white elephant project of the government.

Once all these are clearly defined in the agreement then Davaoenos can sleep soundly knowing that their sports complex will last a lifetime.

We support Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to have a television spot purportedly and subtly endorsing him for the Presidency in 2016 stopped immediately.

To us, the way it was produced by whoever did it, could be giving the city mayor more harm than good. That part of the spot that shows a hand slamming the flies (which symbolically represent the country’s many social ills) and leaving a Philippine map already clean with the name Duterte on it, the producers of the ad were insinuating that ONLY a Duterte presidency can do it. Of course we know that the Davao City mayor has all there are to stamp out the present problems of the country. But knowing the mayor, we are also certain that he does not want to be portrayed as having the monopoly of such traits because he is very well aware that there are others who have his caliber.

Why not the mayor’s backers come up instead with such television spot at this stage of the presidential election preparation, as the one done for then presidential aspirant Ping Lacson? He capitalized on the condition of Thailand under then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Lacson’s name was never shown in that television ad. Instead, the people had to imagine who it was from the Philippines who could do a Shinawatra in leading the country.

Of course Lacson lost in that election where popularity was the barometer in getting voted.

Posted in Opinion