Aquino reminds gov’t of ‘priorities’ amid expensive SEA Games cauldron issue
MANILA, Philippines—Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III reminded the government Wednesday of proper appropriation amid the fierce backlash on the P50-million cauldron that will be used for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Agreeing with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Aquino said the government should have prioritized more important projects like the building of more classrooms instead of using the funds for a cauldron that will be used only for a number of days.
“Ako sang-ayon ako sa sinabi ni Senator Drilon, pwede tayong maglagay ng ganyang simbolo para dun sa Games na hindi naman agnun kamahal,” Aquino told reporters.
(I agree with Sen. Drilon, we could have built a cheaper cauldron.)
“Ang prioridad ‘yata hindi itong Games na ilang linggo (lang). Baka mas prioridad ‘yung pinag-aral natin ‘yung mga bata,” he added.
(I think the priority is not the Sea Games which will only last for more than a week. I think we should instead prioritize education for the youth.)
On Monday, Drilon asked if it was “appropriate” to spend P50 million for the construction of the 50-meter cauldron.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who is also the chair of the private group in charge of the country’s hosting of the Sea Games, defended the project as “a work of art.”
President Duterte, meanwhile, has ruled out corruption in the project, saying that the cauldron was a “product of a mind.”
“You cannot debate with a painter. You create a symbolism of the athletic activity. That is the mind of… Nothing is extravagance there,” he said.