Construction of what will be the largest sports center in the entire province is expected to start next year, said Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II.
Yap during a City Hall-sponsored Christmas party for the media at the Bohol Tropics Resort last week cited the 6,000-seater facility which will be built in Tagbilaran City as among the largest infrastructure projects during his final term as the city’s chief executive.
“Mao ni siya ang pinaka-dako na [coliseum] sa province sa pagkakaron,” he said.
Yap said that the Tagbilaran City Coliseum will have a parking space that can accommodate 2,000 vehicles, addressing previous concerns that the facility can only accommodate 700 vehicles.
The project is expected to receive funding from the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) if the Congress-approved General Appropriations Bill (GAB) is signed into law by President Duterte.
Initial plans for the project indicated that the facility will be built in a Barangay Dao near government structures of the Commission on Audit, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government and the Tagbilaran City College.
The site however has raised concerns from officials including Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso due to projected traffic congestion if government offices and facilities are clustered in one area.
The issue on congestion and urban decay has become a perennial problem for the country’s major cities due to lack of proper urban planning, prompting experts to push growing localities to avoid the same scenario by planning for the long term.
According to Veloso, officials from both the province and the city during the historic joint session of the Tagbilaran City Sangguniang Panlungsod and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last year have pinpointed Barangay Cabawan as the possible site for the sports center and the new Hall of Justice to spread out development in city.
“At the same time, ang road from corner going to Cabawan, going to Cortes will be developed na lapad g’yud as an alternate road. Lami unta na plano na tua mo-spread ang development didto,” he said.
Cabawan is a still underdeveloped village located in the outskirts of the city and is near the town of Cortes which has yet to benefit from a spillover in Tagbilaran City’s fast-paced economic growth.
Meanwhile, Francis Flores, chief of the DPWH’s First Engineering District, confirmed that an initial P20 million budget for the sports center has been proposed through the GAB.
He said that the contract for the project was already bid out but has yet to be awarded to the winning bidder pending the signing of the 2020 budget.
“Wala pa na na award namo kay wa pa man ma-approve ang 2020 na budget. Wa ta kahibalo og ma tangtang ba, makit-an ra na nato kung ma release ang GAA (General Appropriations Act). Once na naa ang sports center na P20 million, maka-award na ta,” he said. (R. Tutas)