Monday July 16, 2018

Baguio goes head to head with Ilocos, Isabela

BIDDING for the hosting for the upcoming Palarong Pambansa is expected to be a tough one for Baguio City as it goes head to head with Ilocos Sur and Isabela provinces.

Aside from the two northern provinces, Bulacan and Tarlac are also making their pitch while Marikina City will also gun for the hosting of the largest sports gathering for elementary and high school students.

Baguio and Benguet is racing against time as bidding is only some four weeks away and is in direct opposition to a formidable foe. Baguio’s only apparent advantage is its vaunted cooler weather that has earned for itself the monicker as “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” but Ilocos Sur, known for its Heritage City of Vigan, appears to be having a substantial lead in the race and increasing as D-Day approaches this October.

“We are looking at a possible P20 million counterpart,” said councilor Peter Fianza, an amount the city hopes to share with Benguet.

Department of Education – Cordillera information officer Georaloy Palao-ay said they also need video clips for its video presentation to present Baguio-Benguet as best choice in hosting the event next year.

“We are calling on our media friends to help us come out with our video presentation,” said Palo-ay. The video, apparently, will present 17 reasons, up from 12 and 15, to make Palaro officials opt for Baguio and Benguet as host.

They have also tapped the colleges to help host the event as venues. Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, University of the Cordilleras, Easter College, the Philippine Military Academy as well as the Benguet State University and Cordillera Career Development College in La Trinidad, Benguet have pledged their support and whose representatives, mostly athletic directors, have been attending the meetings.

“But we need to know if the DepEd will also allocate funds for us,” said an athletic director adding that while public schools will be given a P300,000 each allocation to improve their facilities, none has been committed to them.

“We expect damages to our facilities, which will be needing repairs after the event” added the director, who is also in the thick of preparation for the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League, which has 11 universities and colleges from Baguio and Benguet as members.

The new drive hopes to erase the stigma of the 1995 effort to host the 1996 Palaro which Baguio lost to Camarines Sur. Domogan then was on his second of his first three terms and winning the hosting of the event would see the development of the then dilapidated Baguio athletic bowl.

It was only last year when the athletic bowl was finally repaired, thanks to the effort of former Rep. Nicasio Aliping, Jr. who worked out a budget from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Domogan, who served also as a three-term congressman and is now on his last term as a mayor (his second of three terms each), needs yet to see the implementation of the P60 million city allocation for the construction of a multi-purpose, multi-story sports facility within the seven-hectare sports complex. (Roderick Osis/With PML)