MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano defended in a senate hearing the P50-million price tag of SEA Games cauldron on Tuesday, 19 November 2019, after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon described it as an “unnecessary extravagance.”
Cayetano said “it’s a work of art” that was designed by National Artist for Architecture Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa.
Cayetano, who is also the Chairman of Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), clarified the structure cost only P45 million, but that P5 million will be spent on fuel as the cauldron will keep a fire burning on top for 24 hours until the games are done on December 11, 2019.
The Philippines’ SEA Games cauldron is “cheaper” than Singapore’s P62-million piece, Cayetano added.
“While some people see it as a cauldron, we see a monument. We see the athletes, we see the burning flames that represent hope and the fighting spirit. We think it is just appropriate,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Senate budget hearings.
The cauldron cost P7 million, while another P18-million mechanism is required to keep the flame lit for about 264 straight hours, he said.
Meanwhile, P17 million is allocated for the development of the monument’s site, the House Speaker added.
The cauldron and other SEA Games facilities can also be used in the future when the Philippines hosts the Asian Games, he said.
Cayetano said that they are ready to be audited.(Lloyd Tagbago/IAMIGO/CNS)