MANILA – Funds used for the Philippines' hosting of the Southeast Asian games in December is "spent well, not wasted," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Thursday in response to criticism.
The New Clark City, one of the venues for the biennial games, was built "on time and within budget," Dominguez told a televised news conference.
New Clark City in Tarlac houses the Athletics Stadium, Aquatic Center and the cauldron, which costs P50 million including fuel to keep its fire burning throughout the games.
"This project, I think, is well spent not only for the athletes but also for the pride of our country and that we now have for the first time in 80 years we have a world-class sports facility," Dominguez said.
"My job is to raise money for the government, when I do that, I also want to see that the money is spent well, not wasted because believe me it's very hard to raise money for the government,” he said.
After the SEA Games, the facility can house other regional athletes training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which is also good for tourism, he said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier criticized the cauldron as "extravagant" as he questioned the money spent to develop the venue.