P5.4-M ready for city's 2014 Batang Pinoy stint

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Friday, January 10, 2014


WHILE Davao City cancelled its participation to the 2013 Batang Pinoy National Championships slated January 28 to February 1 in Bacolod City due to funding constraints, the city has already earmarked a total of P5.4 million for the 2014 Batang Pinoy regional and national competitions.

Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge William "Butch" Ramirez, who guested on Thursday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at NCCC Mall B3 Center, said, "We will no longer have funding problems for this year's Batang Pinoy as we have allocated P1.4 million for the Mindanao qualifying and P4 million for the national finals."

Ramirez said they will have to forego with the Bacolod finals as the supposed budget for it was only sourced out from the City Mayor's Office last year.

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The national championships for athletes 15 years old and below was set November 19 to 23 but the Philippine Sports Commission reset to its new schedule citing the horrific aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda that ravaged cities and provinces in the Visayas and other parts of the country.

"Closed book na eh. Tapos na ang taong 2013. The current budget of P25 million of our office will have to be used for this year's programs. Be rest assured though that this year, we will participate in the Batang Pinoy until national finals," the former PSC chief said.

He, however, added some parents of athletes who were qualified to the Bacolod finals regretted the city's decision to miss action in the national championships since they have already bought their plane tickets.

Ramirez said, "We didn't tell them to buy the tickets. We will assist them if their children will still compete in Bacolod at their own expense. We have a point person to process their endorsement and requirements for the national finals."

Meanwhile, Alfred Moulic, father of be-medaled chesser Ella Grace, said it's a pity if his daughter couldn't compete in the nationals.

"It will be her last year in the Batang Pinoy as she will no longer be eligible to compete in the 2014 edition of the Games," Moulic said in a Facebook chat conversation with Sun.Star Davao.

Ella Grace, who swept three gold medals in the Mindanao Qualifying held in Tagum City, is the defending champion in the girls rapid chess event having won the gold in the 2012 national finals in Iloilo City where she also copped a blitz silver.

Alfred hopes that Holy Cross of Davao College, where his daughter studies, will fund her Bacolod trip and that he could seek assistance from well-meaning sports enthusiasts.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 11, 2014.

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