KNOWN as the football seedbed of the country, San Carlos City in Negros Occidental is looking to begin building its own sports stadium this year on the recently-acquired 5.8 hectares property along the city’s circumferential road worth Php28 million.
Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr. told Bacolod City-based sports scribes that while the city wished to host bigger sports undertakings but, the absence of such facilities hindered their plan to do so. “Our city doesn’t have the capacity to cater bigger sports events –though we wanted it. We don’t have a standard track oval, an Olympic size swimming pool, and international football facility, thus the city decided to push for it,” he said.
Valmayor said that the city has approved Php 20 million for the initial development of the said sports facility. “Though this is not enough but, like our other projects in the city, we will do it based on the availability of funds,” he stressed. “We will not seek for loans just to finish it. We have enough sources to support the project.”
He also added that alongside this project are the commitments of the business sector to build more hotels and restaurants which are important during the hosting of regional and national events. “Honestly, we lack hotel rooms to accommodate the huge number of participants coming over for various tournaments. But, our private sector has promised to help the local government address these issues,” he said.
Moreover, the chief local executive also disclosed that the city alongside the Schools Division of San Carlos had a combined –annual budget of Php 10 million for its city sports program. “We have this budget intended for the conduct of sports undertakings from district meets, division meets, regional meets and national tournaments.”
Valmayor also disclosed that they also initiated programs helping the deserving athletes in the city together with several schools. “This program actually started during the term of Vice Gov. Eugenio Lacson, when he was still the Mayor of San Carlos. And we are very proud that many of our student-athletes were able to earn tertiary education in many colleges and universities in Bacolod, Cebu and even Manila,” he said. “The great story here is that they able to finish their courses and get employed,” he added.*