CLARK, Philippines – New Clark City developer MTD Philippines and its project partner Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) are confident that the sports complex will be ready in time for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
On Tuesday, February 19, the organizations reported that the construction is ahead of schedule as the project is already 53% complete. (SEA Games: New Clark City Sports Complex to rise in 9 months)
"Ngayon, may katawan na 'yung athletics stadium natin lahat ng paa nandoon na, nandoon na 'yung track, 'yung bubong, halos nandoon na lahat, 'yung damo na lang ang pinapatubo, 'yung bleachers inaayos," said MTD Philippines project director Rear Admiral Miguel Rodriguez.
(Now, you can see the skeletal structure of the athletics stadium, the track and the roof are there, everything is almost there, the grass is being grown, the bleachers are being fixed.)
The New Clark City Sports complex – which includes the athletics stadium, aquatics center, athlete's village and government residences – is targeted to be completed by August 31, and will be given a safety net of two months before the developer turns it over to BCDA.
Arrey Perez, BCDA vice president for business development and deputy director general of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), assured that the regional biennial meet would take place despite the 33% budget cut from the 2019 General Appropriations Act.
From public-private partnerships, the PHISGOC has 12.65 billion pesos which will fund the construction of New Clark City.
"Kaya kahit na walang perang binigay sa atin ang gobyerno, matatapos po 'yung facilities na iyon kasi sariling pondo po ng foreign partner natin, ‘yung MTD," explained Perez.
(Even though the government didn't give us money, the facilities will be finished as the funds are from our foreign partner MTD.)
In terms of accessibility of the venue, Perez said that the PHISGOC is still coming up with a transportation plan that will allow spectators to travel in free public buses.
"We have a transport plan na binubuo, so in coordination yun sa local government ng Capas [at] Pampanga. Maglalagay tayo ng free public buses para sa mga spectators. Meron din para sa mga atleta," said Perez.
(We're drawing up a transport plan, so we're coordinating with the local government of Capas and Pampanga. We're going to put free public buses for the spectators and there will also be buses for the athletes.)
Over 10,000 athletes from the 11 member-countries will be in the country from November 30 to December 11 to duke it out for regional supremacy in the Southeast Asian Games. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.