Manila still needs RMSC
There is talk that the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) will soon be put up for sale. It has also been reported that the move is being spearheaded by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair Richie Garcia, who has obtained the consent of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. Cojuangco’s idea is to relocate the hundreds of national athletes from the RMSC to a new training center that will be built inside the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga. At the estimated value of P50,000 per square meter, the sum of P5 billion will at least be realized. It is also alleged that the 10-hectare property on Vito Cruz is no longer conducive for training with all the pollution and distractions around it.
The PSC plans to use its 50-percent share from the sale for the construction of a new training center inside the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga, including separate training centers in Tagaytay City and Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
With the proposed sale of the RMSC, there is the possibility that the buyer will demolish the whole complex and and convert it into a residential and commercial center with high-rise buildings. The residents of Manila and neighboring cities will be deprived of a venue to watch sporting events, like track and field, baseball, soccer football, basketball, volleyball, boxing, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, etc. The preservation of the RMSC is not only for its historical value—it is still a viable site for the holding of sports and non-sports events. Garcia’s claim that the PSC is now corruption-free is most welcome. The cleansing of the sports agency should not be used to make the sale of the RMSC more palatable. It is unthinkable that Mayor Lim will allow himself to be an instrument in depriving the residents of Manila and environs, including a host of educational institutions, from holding and viewing sports events and other mass gatherings.
—APOLONIO G. RAMOS,
42 Mindanao St.,
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