Mercado: City Sports Center-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
THOUSANDS of residents, mostly in barangay Mining, Angeles City, as well as neighboring villages are quietly watching the unfolding drama regarding the proposed P600-million city sports center.
Identified as direct and immediate beneficiaries of the pet project of the City Government are the populace of Barangays Salapungan, Capaya, Tabun, and Pandan.
Undeniably residents in this area welcome the Sports complex project. They are indignant at local politicians who are obstructing its realization because it is according to them, untimely, unnecessary, and expensive.
They anticipate the infrastructure to generate employment during and after construction, stimulate economic activities even in micro scale, and bring about development in their neighborhood with the hike of real estate value in their area.
I have talked with many tricycle drivers-operators who agreed that with the year ‘round sports and cultural activities, including huge public programs and social activities at this site, they expected improved daily earnings through increased passenger volume in the route. Housewives can earn by the micro-enterprises in dining, lodging, and similar activities whenever an event is held there, they said.
The residents, of course, have been bombarded with toxic malice, naturally, from Nepomuceno’s political opponents. Their end game is to prevent the construction of what could be a blockbuster achievement for his administration, I was told.
It is the start of the political campaign and charges started flying fast and thick. All over the country the common allegation from the seated officials’ opponents is “overpricing.”
When President Marcos began building his famous infrastructures the opposition cried “overpricing!”
When Mrs. Imelda Marcos started the construction of the Philippine Cultural Center, the detractors opposed it on the same ground.
When the Philippine Heart Center was being implemented, Marcos’s rivals denounced it as “untimely, expensive, and unnecessary.”
So it was with the Kidney Center which went under severe protest.
The Pampanga Convention Center and Sports Complex was subjected to the same negative inquisition, but damn the torpedoes, Governor Guiao stood his ground and went to finish a vital provincial infrastructure.
The people of Barangay Balibago were critical and at first opposed to the expensive P14-million barangay hall that village chief Rodelio Mamac had envisioned. Today, the same residents and detractors of the former cop share in the pride of the project, being the largest in of its kind in Region 3.
Mamac’s critics said the hall was not a priority, citing the need of a firefighting station, a social hygiene clinic for thousands of hospitality workers, and a vast drainage system to prevent recurring floods.
Mayor Nepo, I have read, has stated that while there is actual need for improved services and equipment in the city hospital, more school rooms, a permanent solution to the garbage problem , these can be solved to in due time along with numerous urgent demands.
The Mayor looks ahead to the future when a first class and vaunted prosperous city as Angeles will not be embarrassed and humiliated for lack of a basic necessity as a sports complex. Makarine tamu!
Angeleños take great pride in their place as a center of culture, education, commerce, industry. It has the finest hotels, colleges and universities, and hospitals in the region.
Does it have a sports complex, which is a necessary infrastructure in a growing metropolis? No. Susmariosep! The city cannot even host a PBA out-of-town game or host a championship fights in boxing. Nakakahiya!
While Tarlac City, City of San Fernando, Balanga City, Cabanatuan City, Iba, Zambales, and Malolos, Bulacan can boast of their sports complexes our very own Lungsod ng Angeles has not even a decent public playground it can call its own. E dapat makanyan!
Detractors of the sports complex, like the oppositors to the NorthRail Expressway project shouted “overpriced!” These people are the new enemies of progress. We will benefit from the realization of such great undertakings in time, regardless of political costs.
Balibago residents only today realize that the P14-million cost of their imposing barangay hall is well worth it. Why can’t Angeleños stand as one and tell their mayor, “Go on, Mayor Blueboy, build that sports center and never fear for your decision!”
This was how Angeleños reacted when Mayor Lazatin got loans of over P400-million for the reconstruction of the San Nicolas Public market and the city’s slaughterhouse: “Sige, Mayor tapusin mo na yan, overprice kung overpriced na.”
This is the desire of the residents of Mining, Tabun, Salapungan, Pandan and Capaya. They are concerned over the future benefits that the sports complex will bring to their communities. At large the people believe the Center will make the city a regional sports venue as well as tourist destination.
It’s time for mayor’s other rival, Edgardo Pamintuan, to make known his position on the matter. He cannot dilly-dally on this challenge to come out in the open
Upon this premise, Nepomuceno should bring the issue directly to the people NOW and during the campaign. Why should ten or so politicians hold the project hostage to their ambition?
The city is diminished in stature- and less of a distinguished community it is known- without it. Is it necessary? Yes.
Will it be beneficial to the residents of the area? Yes. Will it bring income opportunities to them? Yes. Will it add to the things that make Angeles a great place? Yes. Is it bad for the politics of Mamac and Pamintuan. It sure does.
Is it an investment for the future? Yes.