DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Sept) – The city would prefer a more progressive approach in the construction of the 20-hectare sports complex facility at the University of the Philippines Mindanao in Mintal, according to the City Planning and Development Office.
In an interview Thursday, CPDO coordinator Marcelino Escalada said there were only broad strokes on the plan, with the state-of-the-art facility designed by UP.
“Is there a need for the complex? Yes. But is there funding? Wala pa,” Escalada said.
“Everything you can imagine from a large sports complex is there,” he said, citing courts, swimming pools, tracks, as well as residences of athletes.
Escalada also said that at least 18 informal settler families have been identified to be living in the area, according to a previous census.
“Under the law, we cannot ask the settlers to leave without a relocation site,” Escalada said.
The development will benefit Barangay Mintal with its plans in making the village a tourist destination, according to Mintal chief Ramon Bargamento.
In a phone interview Thursday, Bargamento said the complex would increase visits to the barangay, especially during large national or regional sports events.
“The influx of visits would also improve economic activity,” Bargamento said, adding that the barangay could take center stage in future major events if the plan materializes.
The barangay chief said the Department of Public Works and Highways was also planning to construct a P50-million road from UP to Manambulan in Tugbok District.
He said the development in the area is in line with plans of the barangay to ask for funding from the city for a P120-million Japanese heritage area.
“This will be good for local tourism,” he said.
The UP is still set to meet with settlers located in Mintal in the middle of the planning stages for the construction of the complex within the university’s property, according to UP Vice Chancellor for Administration Antonio Obsioma.
In a text message, Obsioma said an ad hoc committee would be meeting to iron out details of the complex, including how the construction will affect the residents in the 204-hectare property.
The news comes a week after a meeting between Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and UP system president Alfredo Pascual, with the mayor reportedly signifying the urgency of creating the facility, estimated to be at least P100 million.
In August last year, UP canceled classes after informal settlers from Sitio 117, Bago Oshiro barricaded a road near the construction of a P30-million library within the property.