House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano defended the controversial P50-million cauldron for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, saying it is a “symbol of the games” and a “work of art.”

Cayetano, chairman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), personally attended the Senate deliberation on the proposed budget of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

“It was designed by the late Francisco ‘Bobby’ Mañosa, a National Artist for Architecture.”

The veteran legislator said the SEA Games cauldron was designed by the late Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, a National Artist for Architecture.

“The cauldron is not one of the symbols — it’s the symbol of the games, whether it’s Olympic games or SEA Games. It’s a work of art. 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,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

“The cauldron is cheaper than what was built by Singapore four years ago, which cost around P64 million.”

He also argued that the cauldron is cheaper than what was built by Singapore four years ago, which cost around P64 million.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had questioned the spending of over P50 million for the design and construction of the stadium cauldron that will be used for the biennial meet that will be hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.

Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and sponsor of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) budget, said the budget for the construction of the cauldron was lodged with the PSC.

The design of the cauldron, which is three meters in diameter, costs P4.48 million, while the 50-meter high foundation amounted to P13.4 million. The total cost of construction was pegged at P32 million.

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