Senator Franklin Drilon questioned the government why they spent P50-M on a ‘cauldron’ that would be used for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
During the deliberation of the proposed 2020 budget of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Monday, Drilon said that the cost of the SEA Games cauldron is already equivalent to 50 classrooms.
According to him, the cauldron would only be used once that’s why he’s questioning the priorities of the government.
“A P50-million kaldero. Do you realize that at P1 million per classroom this can construct 50 classrooms? In other words, we did away with 50 classrooms in exchange for one kaldero, is this a correct conclusion?” Drilon said.
“Is that reasonable? Is that a correct prioritization? Each classroom will cost P1 million and just for the kaldero, which should be used only once, we will spend P50 million,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Angara defended the decision to build the cauldron, saying that it was designed by Francisco Mañosa, one of the most influential Filipino architects of the 20th century who also designed The Coconut Palace and EDSA shrine.
“Construction of SEA Games stadium cauldron design and installation P32 million,” Angara said.
Angara also pointed out that the government wanted to impress the people with its SEA Games Hosting.
“I think what the government was really envisioning was to do an impressive hosting of the games and showcase the Philippine ingenuity by using Philippine creative designers and performers,” Angara said.
“I think this is what other Southeast Asian countries have also done when it was their turn to host,” he added.
However, Drilon is not convinced of Angara’s explanation.
“I think it is heart of hearts. The good sponsor, with good intention as he is, finds difficulty justifying a P50-million kaldero which is equivalent to 50 [classrooms],” Drilon said.
According to Drilon, he’s planning to call a Senate probe to investigate the “extravagant” expenses of the government for SEA Games.
“Kailangang suportahan natin sila so they can compete and bring honor to our country. But it doesn’t mean that we will not question these expenses,” Drilon said.