Well, it seems like Bacolod coliseum isn’t going to happen the way it was planned to as the incoming mayor eyes to repurpose it into a cheaper, simpler convention/trade center.
Bacolod City has their new incoming mayor, Alfredo “Albee” Benitez. Benitez isn’t new to politics though as he is a former Negros Occidental 3rd District representative.
He took his oath of office on May 26 and his first order of business was to discuss putting a stop on the key infrastructure project of defeated mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia.
He announced that his plan of repurposing is due to and realign the budget to redesign city markets other more urgent priorities than the P800-million Bacolod MassKara Coliseum. He plans to realign the balance of the budget to rehabilitate the city’s public markets.
Bacolod city currently has a P150-million allocation for the rehabilitation of Burgos, Libertad, and Central markets but are not being deemed enough and even considered by Benitez as a mere facelift. Wanting a more comprehensive solution he added that there should be more space to sidewalk vendors so they would not block the streets.
The coliseum, which was designed to seat 10,000 people have already been site visited in Barangay Alijis by Benitez himself to meet with officials of the city engineer’s office and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as this is one of the projects underwritten with a loan from the DBP.
Although it should be noted that it was the Yanson family that donated the 8.8-hectare property that is to be used for 2 projects:
- MassKara coliseum
- New Southern Bus terminal
Quick trivia on the donor, they are the owners of the Bacolod City-based bus fleet company and now ventures on real estate.
With the change in plans, Benitez may have to discuss it with them or may have already done so.