₱50 million budget for SEA Games cauldron questioned

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 18) — The cost for the design and construction of the stadium cauldron for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games was questioned at the Senate budget plenary on Monday.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon said the ₱50 million budget could construct around 50 classrooms at ₱1 million each.

"Is it proper? Is it appropriate? Is it valid? Is it just to do away with 50 classrooms to build a ₱50 million kaldero that we will only use once?" Drilon asked at the budget plenary.

The 3 meter wide, 50 meter high giant cauldron will hold the SEA games flame for the duration of the sports event.

The budget allocation for the cauldron is divided into ₱4.4 million for the design, ₱13.4 million for the foundation, and ₱32 million for the construction .

Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, who sponsored the budget, said that the cauldron was meant to showcase Filipino creativity and design.

"The government envisions to do an impressive hosting of the games, showcase Philippine ingenuity by using creative Filipino designers and performers," Angara said at the plenary.

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go reiterated that the government also plans to use or lease out the facilities built for the SEA Games after the event is over.

Still, the Senate is set to approve the ₱15.5-billion budget for the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which would handle the construction of the SEA Games facilities in New Clark City.

This is after they retracted the budget Thursday, over the SEA Games budget.

READ: Senate recalls BCDA budget over questions on SEA Games facilities

CNN Philippines' correspondent Joyce Ilas and digital producer Luchi de Guzman contributed to this story.