SEAG cauldron ‘extravagant’
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — A P55-million cauldron to be used for the torch-lighting ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Clark next week was too much an expense for a mere “caldero” that it could have easily paid for the construction of 50 public school classrooms, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said yesterday.

At the deliberations of the proposed budget of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) at the Senate, the senator called for a special audit of the expenses incurred on the country’s hosting of the SEA Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 after the event.

“The question is: Is it proper? Is it appropriate? Is it valid? Is it just that we do away with 50 classrooms to build a P50 million ‘kaldero’ that we use only once?” Drilon asked during the plenary deliberations.

He said a classroom would normally cost P1 million.

It was learned during the proceedings that the cauldron was designed by the late National Artist for Architecture Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa for P4.4 million. Its foundation cost P13.4 million while the construction itself cost P32 million. Drilon said there is also an unexplained P6-million expense called the “wrist tag” that apparently was part of the cauldron.

There will be two torchbearers at the opening of the event according to BCDA president Vince Dizon, who spoke through Sen. Sonny Angara, who was defending the budget as chairman of the Senate finance committee.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) handled the cauldron’s construction. The venue of the Games is located at the New Clark City administered by the BCDA.

The structure is reportedly made of high-grade steel that is 50 meters high, with the cauldron having a diameter of three meters.

Drilon said he thought Mañosa was “extremely qualified” to be the designer of the cauldron but he asked whether or not there was bidding for the design as well as the construction. No PSC official was present to answer the question.

He later told reporters he found the structure extravagant and unnecessary, and that there appeared to be some abuse so “somebody has to answer for this.”

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with