KORONADAL CITY – Construction works have started for the city’s modern gymnasium that received a funding of around PHP76 million, officials said in a statement.
City Mayor Eliordo Ogena said Tuesday the initial phase of the facility’s development is now underway in its site located at the back of the new city hall building on General Santos Drive in Barangay Zone III.
He said the project was designed to further enhance the local government operations and expected to draw more major events and activities to the city.
“It will not only benefit the city but the province of South Cotabato and Region 12 (Soccsksargen) as well,” he said.
Koronadal is a component city of South Cotabato and the regional administrative seat and center of Soccsksargen.
Ogena said it will be the next attraction of the city, which has a number of existing landmarks such as the regional center, Rizal Park and main public market, Chinatown satellite market, highway greening, and the Blok Creek.
The project has initial funding of PHP26 million, with PHP20 million committed by Deputy House Speaker for Mindanao and South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez, and PHP3 million each from senators Nancy Binay and Pia Cayetano.
Hernandez is pushing for the release of an additional PHP50 million next year to facilitate its completion by 2022.
Hernandez said he pushed for the construction of the city’s own gymnasium to help create more jobs and better economic opportunities for residents.
“When completed, the gymnasium will have a seating capacity of 5,000 to 10,000 and host modern amenities and facilities,” he said.
He said the facility will help further establish the city as a “one-stop-shop” for major events and attract more tourists and other visitors.
Major events and activities in the city are held at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center in the downtown area.
The 5,000-capacity gymnasium, which was completed before the province hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 1996, had hosted top national and regional events, among them the Mindanao Business Conference and the National Schools Press Conference. (PNA)