MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has given the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) the clearance to sign with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the planned Fifa-funded rehabilitation and improvement of the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
"We are of the considered view that the proposed MOA may be validly and legally entered into by the PSC," DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima wrote in a legal opinion (No. 44 series 2012) transmitted to the PSC today.
PSC chairman Richie Garcia earlier deferred signing the agreement, which aims to renovate and convert the Rizal pitch into an artificial turf, as he sought DOJ's counsel on the legality of the proposed 25-year pact.
One of the requirements for the $500,000 project under Fifa's GOAL program is for the RMFS to be used only for football development program and international competition for a period of not less than 25 years.
De Lima explained that Section 23 of Republic Act 6847 vested upon the PSC the management and full control of all the land, buildings, equipment and other improvements thereon of the entire Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
"Based on this provision, we find the PSC to be authorized to enter into the MOA with the PFF...and to agree to the undertaking to ensure that it be exclusively used for football and the promotion and development of football for a period of not less than 25 years," she said.
The Justice Secretary also noted that the obligation to ensure that RMFS be exclusively used for football for 25 years is a "mere act of administration" on the part of the PSC.
"Moreover, the management and control of the sports facility remain with the PSC. While the PFF is given priority in the use of the sports facility, the PSC can still schedule events and competitions in relation to its other stakeholders such as the UAAP and NCAA, provided these are football-related," de Lima said.
With the PSC about to get on board, construction of the 78-year-old facility that serves as home of the Azkals is expected to commence soon.