Manila mayor vows to protect Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Harrison Plaza

Published August 8, 2019, 6:46 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Erma Edera

Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said the city government would protect the two historical establishments in the nation’s capital that were earlier bidded out to private firms.

The local government of Manila and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) reached a mutual agreement not to sell RMSC (Manila PIO Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
The local government of Manila and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) reached a mutual agreement not to sell RMSC (Manila PIO Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Mayor said he is committed to retain the 80-year-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) as a sports facility.

“I will not sell it. They will continue to redevelop it as long as it is being utilized as a sports facility for sports activities,” he said.

READ MORE: Manila Mayor Isko, PSC chairman Ramirez : Rizal Memorial not for sale

On August 7, the local government of Manila and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) reached a mutual agreement not to sell RMSC.

The land where the RMSC stands is owned by Manila, but PSC has control of the facilities. RMSC was built in 1934 to host the Far Eastern Championship Games.

In 1954, the Rizal Memorial was the principal stadium of the Asian Games. It has one other – non-athletic – distinction: it hosted two sold-out concerts of the Beatles in 1966, the evening concert attended by an audience of 50,000, the Beatles’ second biggest concert ever.

During former Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s administration, he bared plans that the property be sold to a private entity but the plan was opposed by several quarters including the National Historical Institute.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declared RMSC as a national historical landmark thus preventing it from being demolished or converted into something else in 2017.

On the other hand, Harrison Plaza, the Philippines’ first modern shopping mall that opened in 1976 might close down as property giant SM Prime Holdings is finalizing a deal to buy out the Martel family from its contract with the City of Manila to develop and manage it.

Three years ago, it was first reported that SM Prime Holdings Inc., a major property developer, has committed to invest at least P40 billion to put up business process outsourcing offices and residential towers in the complex.

The firm is also reportedly partnering with the Manila City government, aiming to turn the seven-hectare property into a mixed-use development.

“It was contracted in the previous administration. We are looking into how we are going to protect the interest of the city government of Manila since we still have semblance of ownership in the area,” Moreno said.

“We will study it further on how it is going to be economically viable for the city government of Manila,” he added.

The mall has been operating for 43 years now.

Moreno said other cities are more progressive than Manila, but the nation’s capital historical landmarks are “something others cannot have.”

“These are Manila’s real treasures,” he added.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2146594,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2915365,2915358,2915349,2915343,2915355,2915346]