(NOVEMBER 19, 2019) – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano defended the P50-million cauldron to be used in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, saying it is cheaper than what Singapore spent to build one in 2015.
Cayetano, chairman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Foundation Inc., said Singapore spent P63 million to construct the cauldron when it hosted the 2015 biennial meet. He added that theirs was not even designed by a national artist.
The cauldron in Clark was designed by the late National Artist for Architecture and Allied Arts Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, a renowned architect regarded as one of the country’s most influential in the 20th century.
“The cauldron that has been put into spotlight is cheaper than what was built by Singapore four years ago… and ‘yung sa Singapore, hindi national artist [ang nag-design],” Cayetano said during the Senate deliberations on the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) 2020 budget.
At the Senate’s budget hearing of the Bases Conversion Development Authority on Monday, it was revealed that P4.4 million was spent on its design alone, P13 million on the foundation, and P32 million for the actual construction.
The cauldron stands 50 meters tall with a diameter of three meters.
Cayetano added the cauldron is a “work of art” and it is “the symbol” and not just one of the symbols of the Games.
“While some people see a cauldron, we see a monument. We see the athletes. We see the burning flames that represent hope and the fighting spirit,” Cayetano noted, before comparing it with the Senate moving to increase the budget of the Cultural Center of the Philippines for the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday questioned the cost of what he referred to as the “kaldero,” which he said could have been used to construct 50 classrooms.