Cebu City dad answers ‘no skate park post’ of Didal, explains project delay
Cebu City Councilor Dondon Hontiveros says they're waiting for decision on where to build the skate park at SRP
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The vice chairman of Cebu City council’s Committee on Youth and Sports Development is not happy with the post of skateboarder Margielyn Arda Didal. This was after the Cebuana skateboarder failed to bag a medal in the 19th Asian Games.
Didal posted on her Facebook on Wednesday, September 27, “Sorry Cebu wa gehapon tay skatepark kay wala man ta ka medal ✌🏽.”
(Sorry Cebu we won’t also get a skatepark because we did not win a medal.)
Hontiveros: I understand their plight
In an interview with CDN Digital on Wednesday, September 27, Councilor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros said that he understood the sentiments and plight of the skateboarders regarding the skate park because he was a former athlete.
But he reminded them that they would also think of the process because it could not be done immediately.
Explanation of project delay, unhappy feelings
In the interview, he provided the explanation on the delayed construction of the skate park in the South Road Properties (SRP).
But he also acknowledged the feelings of Didal in her post.
“I’m a sportsman before and I did not put the city government in that position nga mo bagsak gyud. Nakafeel tingali mo nga I’m not happy with the post but it’s her opinion and I’m totally okay with that kay naa man ta’y freedom of expression,” he said.
(I’m a sportsman before and I did not put the city government in that position where one would say bad things about it. You must have felt that I’m not happy with the post but it’s her opinion and I’m totally okay with that because we have the freedom of expression.)
He said that he would be willing to answer to the claims, saying that the city government was not doing anything about building a skate park.
“Imagina lang ninyo bai, kung mahuman nani bai unya niboom nanang SRP, di mo bawalan didto kay naa naman gyuy inyoha unya napa’y atop,” he said.
(Just imagine this, when this is done and the SRP will boom, you would not be prohibited there because you already have a place with a roof on it.)
I’m a sportsman before and I did not put the city government in that position nga mo bagsak gyud. Nakafeel tingali mo nga I’m not happy with the post but it’s her opinion and I’m totally okay with that kay naa man ta’y freedom of expression
Hontiveros recalled that during the time of former Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña, his administration had “good intentions” on building the skate park.
He said that the allotted money for the skate park was given directly to the contractor because if the money would be downloaded from the city government, it would take time because it would be placed in the general fund.
Why the project was not done in Plaza Independencia
“So what they did is ilang gidownload ang kwarta para na sa motrabaho. But then again sa groundbreaking didto man ni siya sa Plaza Independencia, but if you check, bawal man gyud na siya kay it’s a heritage site,” he said.
(So what they did is they downloaded the money for those who would work on it. But then again at the groundbreaking there at the Plaza Independencia, but if you check, it is prohibited to build it there because it’s a heritage site.)
“So what they did is ilang gidownload ang kwarta para na sa motrabaho. But then again sa groundbreaking didto man ni siya sa Plaza Independencia, but if you check, bawal man gyud na siya kay it’s a heritage site.”
Why SRP and not Abellana
Moreover, he said that since he was also a part of the Cebu City Sports Commission, they made a resolution asking for a space at the SRP for the skate park because the Abellana Sports Complex was already full.
Hontiveros said that when former Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia won their positions in the government, there was a discussion, and part of it was about the lot in the SRP, and that had to be discussed.
“From what I understand, dili dayon sila makadecide [kung] asa nga area sa SRP nga pwede mi makainvest, and for the information as well for all skateboarders, naay budget adto nga P50 million not only for skateboarders but [also] of building, multipurpose or whatsoever nga diha sa Abellana,” he said.
(From what I understand, we cannot then decide on what area of the SRP that we can invest in, and for your information, as well as for all skateboarders, there is a budget then of P50 million not only for the skateboarders but [also] of building, a multipurpose [building] or whatsoever there in Abellana.)
P50M budget then
He said that Edward Hayco, then chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission, suggested using the P50 million once there would already be a lot in the SRP, which would then be approved by the council.
But Hontiveros said that there was a discussion between Cebu City and Cebu Province regarding which portion of the SRP that would be allotted for the skate park.
Pandemic hit, P50M used for medical purposes
“So, dili sa mi makamove forward, not that it’s the least of the priorities, but we have to check unsa man ang priorities, di ba? Of course, gahuwat mi asa,” he said.
(So we cannot move forward, not that it’s the least of the priorities, but we have to check, what are the priorities, right? Of course, we are waiting where it will be.)
But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the area was used for the Bagsakan, and the P50 million budget was used for medical purposes because that was more important at that time.
So, dili sa mi makamove forward, not that it’s the least of the priorities, but we have to check unsa man ang priorities, di ba? Of course, gahuwat mi asa.”
Why not Barangay Kamagayan lot?
Hontiveros said that even before the pandemic, he and Councilor Joel Garganera went to Barangay Kamagayan in Cebu City to ask for space for the skate park.
However, they were not able to “move forward” with the space there because they were told that the space would be allotted for a building that would be intended for city hall employees.
“Okay ra’g ingnon ta’g ge drawing (ang pagtukod sa skatepark) pero nangita mi’g paagi. Wala sila kahibaw ana,” he said.
(It is okay if they say that we drew (the building of the skate park), but we have been looking for ways (to build it). They did not know that.)
Looking for space for skate park
He added that Garganera and him were doing what they could to find a space for the skate park.
“Initially, nihangyo mi nga anha diha sa atbang sa simbahan kaning San Nicolas, but from what I understand mao nang nahimo nana siya’g children’s park, but before open na siya. Ni-suggest mi diha,” he said.
(Initially, we requested that it will be built there in front of the church of San Nicolas, but from what I understand, that is the area that has become a children’s park, but before, that was open (for negotiation). We suggested that it will built there.)
He also said that Garganera also contacted the real estate company, Filinvest, to ask for open space in Filinvest.
But he explained that on the side of Filinvest, coming from the business side, they could not immediately offer their open space because of investments.
But a highly urbanized city to spend, to reserve P900 million worth of property for that unya ingnan ta nga drawing?
Skate park in SRP, P900M estimate for project
Therefore, Hontiveros said that Rama directed him to ask the council to spare one hectare for skate park, multipurpose building, and other establishments connected with sports and education.
During the interview, he calculated the estimated cost that it would cover, and he said it would be about P900 million.
Furthermore, to make progress, he said Rama also communicated with William Vincent “Vinny” Marcos, the son of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
He said that it would be easier for the municipalities to put up a skate park compared to Cebu City which is a highly urbanized city because the cost of the lot would be lesser.
“But a highly urbanized city to spend, to reserve P900 million worth of property for that unya ingnan ta nga drawing?,” he said.
Skate park in province vs skate park in city
He said that if the municipality and the city were to be compared, there really was a huge gap.
“Barato gyud ang yuta didto sa probinsya. Dali ra kaayo pagbutang sa park. If didto sa probinsya, maghimo sila’g park, dali ra kaayo tangtangon, it’s easy. SRP is a major (area), business, tanan. Mao rag na na siya’g BGC (Bonifacio Global City in Manila) gyud,” he added.
(The lot in the province is really cheap. It will be faster to put a park. If it will be in the province, they’ll build a park, then they call also quickly remove it, it’s easy. SRP is a major (area), all are for business. That will be like you are BGC (Bonifacio Global City in Manila.))
He said that the city council did not oppose establishing a skate park in the SRP.
Learn from this, don’t make assumptions
“Before you make assumptions, I hope you learn from this. Kay daghan kaayong naabot sa akoa and it’s unfair nga moingon sila nga way gibuhat si Councilor Garganera,” he said.
(Before you make assumptions, I hope you learn from this. Because there are a lot of talk that have reached my attention and it’s unfair that they will say that Councilor Garganera has not done anything.)
“Sometimes, don’t put your city government in a situaton nga wala sila’y gibuhat. We’re doing something. Mayor Mike Rama is doing something. He connected with the son of the president. And didto sa SRP dako kaayo na. Prime lot, intended for them (skateboarders). Wala nioppose ang city council, nisupport pa sila,” he added.
(Sometimes, don’t put your city government in a situation that they are accused of not doing anything. We’re doing something. Mayor Mike Rama is doing something. He connected with the son of the president. And there at the SRP, that is a big area. Prime lot, intended for them (skateboarders). The city council did not oppose it, they supported it.)
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