5 int'l groups 'cancel' plans to lease New Clark City due to COVID-19 pandemic: BCDA

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2020 04:39 PM

Members of the media visit some facilities in the New Clark City before the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines on November 18, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Monday said it lost at least 5 clients that were interested in renting several facilities in the New Clark City, which were built for the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.

"If not for the pandemic, 5 international groups would have leased the property this year," BCDA President Vince Dizon said during his agency's budget hearing in the Senate.

"After the pandemic hit, na-cancel ito," he said.

Dizon did not mention how much the government was expecting to earn from the lease, but noted that the offers showed the "viability" of the sports facilities once feared to become "white elephants" after the regional sporting events.

"The Philippine Sports Commission is asking us if athletes can train already before the end of the year and hold COVID bubble events like the UAAP," he said.

"It shows the viability of the facilities... These are the only globally-accredited facilities in the country," he said.

Last year, several lawmakers questioned the government's decision to borrow P11 billion to put up facilities that would enable the Philippines to qualify as a host of the SEA Games, saying the facilities may end up not being utilized after the regional meet.

So far, some of the establishments in the New Clark City have been converted into a mega quarantine facility for suspected COVID-19 patients.

The billions-worth project is expected also to be used to house future students of the National Sports Academy that is set to open in 2022.