Two projects worth some P500 million that will bring the Baguio athletic bowl closer to world standard will be up for bidding very soon, city administrator Bonifacio dela Pena said this week.
“Finally we will have two projects up for bidding,” dela Pena told the RNG Thursday, even as he admitted that it was delayed by almost four months.
Dela Pena is referring to the Baguio Youth Convergence and Sports Hall and the four story parking and VIP lounge inside the seven hectare sports complex which he said were supposed to be bid out last October but were delayed due to lack of funds.
“Sigurado na sa February (For sure it will be this February),” said the engineer, a soil specialist.
However, dela Pena said that the sports hall has its budget cut from P434 million to P392 million or a P42 million reduction thanks to some improvements on design reducing the cost.
He added that the plans for the sports facility will not be affected despite the reduced cost.
Then there is the P110 million parking and VIP lounge that will give a good view of track and field events at the athletic bowl.
Dela Pena, who said that VIP lounge had been inspired by the New Clark City design, further said that both projects will be bid out on the same month but failed to mention of the exact date.
Both projects were supposed to be implemented as early as March last year but then it was moved to later date when the city was declared under an enhanced community quarantine on March 17 last year.
They were looking at October of last year when construction works were resumed thanks to a directive from the Inter-Agency Task Force, but moved to a later date as funds did not come in.
Earlier, Dela Pena said that the city will source out the P294 million, while Senate President Vicente Sotto III will complete the budget with his P140 million promise.
“The bulk was sourced out from unspent funds, while senator Sotto chipped in P140 million,” he explained.
Sotto is a former national athlete who played with the national bowling team along with legends Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo. In fact, the four story structure will house a basketball cum volleyball gym will have a five lane bowling alley, said dela Pena.
Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales welcomed the development since they will have a whole floor as a youth convergence center for the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation. Orcales is the chair of the SKF Baguio that earned him a seat at the City Council.
“That is the very best news. We thank the mayor for including us in his plans,” said Orcales in a separate interview.
“We really want the best materials for the youth/sports complex and the best qualified contractor to put it in reality,” said dela Pena, one of the most respected engineer in his field not only in Baguio but in Northern Luzon.
“Once finished, people can watch any sporting event at the Baguio oval,” said dela Pena, who drew inspiration from the New Clark City Sports Complex which was unveiled last year for the Southeast Asian Games.
Dela Pena said that architect Noel Elnar, who consults for the Philippine Sports Commission, provides assistance in terms of design to the city, for free.
In January last year, during the city sports code consultation with athletes, coaches and sports stakeholders, dela Pena revealed the plans for the Baguio athletic bowl that include the extension of the big grandstand and lighting of the oval, the youth and sports complex and the parking building.
“This will be a big boost for all our athletes and coaches who sacrifice time and effort to bring glory to our city and our country,” said dela Pena, who represented mayor Magalong during the dialogues.
Meanwhile, he said the P45 million extension of the big grandstand is proceeding according to plan despite a seven month delay due to the placement of the city under ECQ last March.
“Athletes lounge, showers, gyms for athletes and some offices will be placed under the extension, while four light towers will be placed around the sports complex,” added dela Pena.