MAYOR Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Wednesday, February 20, took pride in the newly renovated and improved Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex as a grand gift for the Zamboangueños as they celebrate this city’s 82nd Charter Day on February 26.
“This symbolizes a new beginning for Christians, Muslims and Lumad. We are just very thankful to everyone that has made this possible,” Salazar said during the sports complex’s inauguration and turnover rites.
Salazar thanked former President Benigno Aguino, III and former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, during whose terms the grandstand’s rehabilitation started.
She also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and DPWH Secretary Mark Villar for supporting the project to finish.
For his part, DPWH Assistant Secretary Maximo Carvajal, who represented Villar, described the 57,500 square meters sports complex as now back to its old glory in much better condition after having been used as the biggest evacuation center during the 2013 siege that resulted in the destruction of its major component structures.
The sports complex was destroyed when it was utilized as the biggest evacuation center when the September 2013 siege broke out.
The sports complex, fondly referred to as the grandstand by most Zamboangueños, was originally constructed in 1992 in time for the Palarong Pambansa the city hosted in same year.
It served as venue for the Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) National Meet in 2005, and the Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities (Pascu) National Olympic in 2007. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)