Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sports dome in Davao City to be named after House Speaker Prospero Nograles

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The head of the Philippines Commission on Higher Education suggested the first modern sports dome in Davao City be named after House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

Chairman Emmanuel Angeles said the idea of having a “Speaker Prospero Nograles Sports Dome” will be a fitting tribute to the first ever Mindanawon House Speaker, who worked hard in securing national funds to finally answer the clamor for the city’s first modern sporting facility.

The soon-to-rise sports dome, which could sit up to 8,000 people, will be built at the University in Southeastern Philippines compound in Barrio Obrero. Angeles heads the USEP Board of Regents.

The only government sporting center around is the now obsolete Davao City Recreation Center, originally named Almendras Gymnasium. It was built during the pre-martial law time of Davao’s only senator, Alejandro Almendras.

Then Mayor Benjamin de Guzman attempted to build the modern Artica Sports Dome in 2000, but it was mothballed by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte upon his return to City Hall in 2001.

To date, Davao City has been left behind by other localities hosting modern sporting arenas. The neighboring Panabo City, whose income is less than 20-percent of Davao City’s close to P4-billion annual take, long built its modern sporting center.

But lawyer Karlo Nograles, the solon’s son and chief of staff, said he has declined the suggestion by the CHED chairman to name the sports dome in USEP after his father.

“The more important thing is for Davao City to have its first modern sporting center,” the young Nograles said.

Angeles said he respected the decision of the young lawyer, but insisted on placing a marker at the dome that would cite the effort of Nograles to build the facility. The CHED chairman said he would personally supervise the placement of the marker in honor of the House Speaker.

The solon’s son said his father only wish is to use the income of the sports dome for its maintenance and fund students’ scholarship in Davao City, particularly in the 1st District where the lawmaker belongs.

Greggo Pantig, project officer of Nograles, said the sports dome will be a 3-storey edifice with spaces allocated for commercial use. He said that engineers have laid out a 6-month construction period for the sports dome.

Pantig said they will ensure the swift completion of the dome similar to the restoration of Governor Generoso Bridge II in Bankerohan that was completed in record time.

Former Councilor Beethoven Orcullo said he wished that the Artica Dome will be finally utilized to further enhance Davao City’s stature as the most progressive locality in the south. He said it was also unfair for taxpayers to shoulder the cost of the Artica Dome construction for nothing.

Unlike the planned USEP sports dome which has no tax burden, the P150-million Artica project was built from bank loan proceeds. The city government has been paying the loan interest and principal amount out of taxes during the past 8 years that the dome was left to elements.

No comments: