Rizal Memorial Stadium facelift set

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) disclosed its plan to rehabilitate the decades-old Rizal Memorial football stadium to comply with international standards.

“The plan is to turn the Rizal Memorial Track and Field Oval into a football stadium and we’re going to pursue that,” said Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping.

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“It’s just matter of having a budget and finding probably a private partner to help co-finance it,” he added.

The massive facelift will start sometime next month and will be finished in six months as the PSC expects to complete a state-of-the-art football field to “make Filipino players more respectable in the eyes of our Asean neighbors.”

Angping said he met over lunch with La Salle head Bro. Bernie Oca, who expressed the school’s desire to participate in the plan to upgrade the football field.

“This is going to be a breakthrough not only for Philippine sports but for the sport of football,” said Angping. “Football occupies a special place in the heart of La Salle since the school is known as a football-loving school.”

This is the first time since the country hosted and won the 2005 Southeast Asian Games that the aging facility will be getting a facelift.

The sports complex was finished in 1936 at a cost of P1.5 million during the administration of President Manuel Quezon and proposals to repair it have been there since the 1950s.

It can be remembered that Angping, then serving his second term in 2002, filed House Resolution No. 775 seeking the creation of a committee “that shall identify a site in Manila and conduct a study for the construction of a new modern sports complex which is ideal for international sports events.”

But the resolution gathered dust in the House archives.

In a related development, the plan is but the latest of the many projects being done at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Since Angping took over the reins of the government sports funding body last year, the PSC renovated the Gymnastics Center, the three-story boxing building, the agency’s administration building, the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and more recently, the taekwondo center. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Rizal memorial stadium facelift set

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