ILOILO – For Ilonggo athletes to be more competitive, the provincial government is investing P22-million in the development of Iloilo Sports Complex in Iloilo City this year.
Of the total amount, P15-million will be spent for the rehabilitation of the track and field and the remaining P7-million will be used for the football field.
In a press conference, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said it is the time for the province to revisit and improve the project that was built in 1990.
“This government should be prepared to spend more to enhance the quality of sports facilities [here],” he stressed.
The rehabilitation works for the two sports development projects will immediately commence following the bidding this month.
For the track oval alone, the province is eyeing to import materials that can cost at least P10-million or less than the P28-million estimated cost.
The football field, on the other hand, will be rehabilitated to meet the international standards. Lightings will also be installed so that the field can hosts games at night.
When asked if the sports complex is generating income, the governor replied that “we do not quantify the success of the program in terms of return of investments”.
Developing the infrastructure is more on capability building and providing proper or convenient environment for the athletes and sports enthusiasts, he said.
He also pointed out that if the province has to produce quality athletes for national and international games, quality training grounds are also needed.
The Iloilo Sports Complex was built for Palarong Pambansa, an annual sports event involving student-athletes from 17 regions in the Philippines, in 1991.
But prior to its construction, Iloilo City has been chosen to host the event previously known as Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games in 1955.
In 2005, the city and province were again handpicked by Department of Education to host the 60th edition of the sports event. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)