Mayor Evelio Leonardia defended his plan to build a P800 million Bacolod coliseum in Barangay Alijis saying it would be a big tourism and sports magnet for the city.
If it were pursued it would be the biggest in Western Visayas, he said at a press conference on Sunday, June 12.
“We are looking for that time when the bridge between Panay and Negros is already there. Can you imagine the ease and attraction of Bacolod City,” he said.
Leonardia also said he wanted to balance the growth of Bacolod as development came first in the north and now it’s high time for it to go south.
He cited how growth has come to the east side of Bacolod with the construction of the Bacolod City Government Center.
“So I can see the future that if the Coliseum and Museum are in the south, bigger developments will follow. So our growth will be dispersed,” he said.
Mayor-elect Alfredo “Albee” Benitez wants to repurpose the funds allocated for the construction of a Bacolod Coliseum for a cheaper and simpler convention or trade center, and realign the rest of the funds for the further improvement of the three Bacolod markets.
The city government has a close to P800 million loan for the coliseum, and about P250 million has already been withdrawn from DBP, he said.
“It is up to them what they want to do… it’s the people who will judge us”, Leonardia said.
The systems are already in place, Bacolod is unstoppable, it will continue to grow whoever is there, Leonardia said.*