Clark training center built by Dec. 2015? | Inquirer Sports
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Clark training center built by Dec. 2015?

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 12:02 AM December 29, 2014

DILAPIDATED: The decades-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila SNAPTHEPIX.COM

DILAPIDATED: The decades-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila SNAPTHEPIX.COM

The Philippine Sports Commission has set December 2015 as the tentative date for the completion of its ambitious multibillion-peso training center for national athletes at Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

“This training center should be finished before the end of 2015,” said PSC chair Richie Garcia yesterday. “I hope this happens because Rizal (Memorial Sports Complex) is no longer acceptable as training center for our athletes.”

The old, dilapidated 9.3-hectare RMSC in Manila has been the home of Filipino athletes since the mid-1930s and is now prone to flooding. The PSC also holds office inside the complex.

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Exposed to pollution, flooding

“We’re exposed to pollution and the area easily gets flooded during heavy rains, making it difficult for our athletes to train,” said Garcia.

He said the committee on youth and sports development of the House of Representatives is crafting a bill for the relocation of the national athletes from various sports in Metro Manila to the 50-hectare site at Clark Freeport.

The agency is working on signing a memorandum of agreement with the Clark Development Corp. for the training facility’s construction.

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Garcia said the government sports agency would need about P3.5 billion to fund the entire project.

“Once we get the go-signal (from Malacañang), we’ll immediately look for the funds,” he said.

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RMSC property claimants

The PSC has been in talks with the  Manila city government—which also claims the RMSC property—in a bid to find financing for the new complex, which will house the athletes’ dormitories and sports facilities of several sport.

“For as long as the PSC is there (at RMSC), it remains under the control of the PSC,” said Garcia. “Since we cannot sell it, we’re planning to relinquish the control of RMSC to the City of Manila in exchange for P3.5 billion.

“There’s no sale there. We just returned the property to Manila.”

There are still unresolved questions over which party—the PSC or the Manila city government—really owns the RMSC real estate.

The property was donated to the national government in the 1930s by the Vito Cruz family, whose patriarch, Hermogenes Vito Cruz, was the leader of the Katipunan in Pasay during the 1890s.

“They’re saying that there are restrictions on the deed of donation,” said Garcia. “But if you base it on practice and history, why was part of the property sold to Century Park or Harrison Plaza? The property still belonged to the Vito Cruz family.

“If there are restrictions, the title of the property cannot be transferred to Manila. And because of that, we’ll be out in the market to look for other sources of funding.”

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According to the PSC chief, the construction of the facilities and transfer of athletes to Clark Field could take at least six months.

TAGS: Philippine Sports Commission, Richie Garcia, Sports

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