Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Won't Be Sold, According to City of Manila

It's currently under restoration for the upcoming SEA Games.

The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was always under threat for possible demolition, improper renovation, or selling to developers during the administration of former mayor and president Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Now, it seems that Mayor Isko Moreno is turning things around. On August 7, the Manila official announced through the Public Information Office's social media account that the "Manila City government and Philippine Sports Commission agree not to sell the Rizal Memorial Coliseum."

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Details of the agreement were not revealed but the ownership and control of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex were a contentious issue in the past. The land where it stands is owned by Manila, but the Philippine Sports Commission has control of the facilities.

During his administration, Estrada bared plans for the property to be sold to a private entity but the plan was opposed by several sectors, including heritage advocates and cultural groups. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, on March 27, 2017, declared the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex a National Historical Landmark.

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Currently, heritage conservation expert and architect Gerard Lico is restoring the whole complex for use as pocket venue and training center of athletes during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in November.

Main image by Ramon Velasquez, Wikimedia Commons

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