By Claire R. Gigje
MARAWI CITY, May 24–With the aim of advocating for peace through sports engagement and social assembly, the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) together with the National Housing Authority (NHA) as the implementing agency began the construction of the Sarimanok Sports Stadium and Convention Center as their groundbreaking transpired Saturday, May 22.
Marcelino Escalada Jr., the General Manager of the NHA, stressed that these projects will serve as the origin of uniting instruments that will benefit citizens in the city and within the region after its completion ten months later.
“We will offer the facility as a source of unifying instruments for everyone to enjoy and live peacefully… Sabi ko sa contractor at sa NHA na [I told the contractor and the NHA that] we will finish that in ten months. We will deliver our commitments for Sarimanok, as well as the Convention Center in ten months, around March, the first quarter of 2022,” he said.
City Mayor Majul Gandamra foresaw that the realization of such will become grounds for the enhancement of skills and positive attitudes including sportsmanship and camaraderie while sustaining peace in the locality.
“Instead of engaging into violence and dangerous activities, these facilities will be witnessing various sports, competitions and other related peace-building activities that will help our youth and our people, in general, to avoid engaging in violent extremism and terrorism,” he stated.
Engr. Clemente Dayot, Acting Regional Manager of NHA-Region IX and BARMM and Head of the NHA-Marawi Project Management Office, said the Sarimanok Sports Stadium will be a four-hectare sports complex that can generate 3,700 seating capacity.
This will be seen as a venue that can hold outdoor and indoor games with its bleachers overlooking Lake Lanao and a wide athletic oval which can be converted into a sports court such as tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, among others.
On the other hand, the Convention Center will be a one-hectare facility featuring conference halls and meeting rooms capable of hosting meetings, seminars and other indoor convergence with its 1,700 seating capacity.
Overall, the two infrastructures roughly cost Php400 million drawn from the funds of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management – Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (NDRRM-MRRRP) and are designed to have a sewage treatment plant and parking space.
With the commencement of the projects, Escalda firmly emphasized that while the NHA pursues its commitment in supporting the rehabilitation, local government units of the city and its province must duly uphold their own share of responsibilities.
“We will not leave behind the development of Marawi. We continue to pursue and we continue to fag any proposal, development for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery of Marawi… We will construct, we will continue to develop but local government units both the provincial and the city should be able to assure responsibilities for operations and maintenance,” he highlighted.
Meanwhile, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary and TFBM Chairperson Eduardo Del Rosario equated the rising of facilities as major progress in the rehabilitation of the city.
“Now, we can stand proud and tell the world, to the public that we are on the right track and we are doing it right and we will complete substantially the rehabilitation by December of 2021,” he pronounced. Philippine Information Agency