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Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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Limpag: Sports landscape post-midterm election

Fair Play

TWO of the most active sports commissions that I know of are those of Cebu City and Cebu Province, and both local government units (LGUs) will have new leaders come June 30.

The Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) was the first to show that sports commissions can do more than hold basketball tournaments when it started grassroots development close to a decade ago, while the Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC) followed suit and started its own grassroots program that would see its campaign in multi-sports event meets improve by leaps and bounds.

The big question of course is this: “What will happen to these programs when the new mayor and governor step in?”

Generally, programs started under one admin are cut short when a new one takes over, but I think that won’t be the case. I sure hope so.

Ed Hayco was named the CCSC chairman under Mike Rama’s term and continued to be so when Tomas Osmeña took over. I hope whoever mayor-elect Edgar Labella appoints to the commission will see the value in the CCSC’s sports programs and continue them. That other LGUs like Makati tried to copy Hayco’s volunteer-driven approach shows the value of such program.

CPSC’s more famous events are the Governor’s Cup for basketball and volleyball, but before it got to that stage, it laid the groundwork by holding programs all over the province. It also got active in other sports, not just the two. And from being one of the delegations that get the least support, Cebu Province teams in the Batang Pinoy, Philippine National Games and the Department of Education meets were those that got the most support.

I’m hopeful, under the returning Gwen Garcia, that the program will be continued.

Note that I’m speaking of programs, not personalities. Each LGU head should have the open hand to appointment whomever he or she desires to the position, but a change of leaders need not necessarily mean a change in directions.

Besides, it was under Governor Garcia that Cebu Province had its first Governor’s Cup for volleyball, which at that time, was the most widely participated sports program that I know of in the country. It also led to players from far-flung areas getting discovered and earning athletic scholarships, which for me, should be the goal of an LGU-based sports program.

So I’m hopeful the returning governor will see the value in it.

There might be a cloud of uncertainty in CCSC and CPSC because of the midterm election, but I’m hopeful that for Mandaue and Talisay, their own sports landscapes will change for the better.

Sportsman extraordinaire Samsam Gullas is the new Talisay City mayor, while Rep. Jonas Cortes returns to Mandaue City Hall. Mayor Samsam knows the transformative value of sports—and not just basketball—and I see a more active Talisay Sports Commission under his term. For Mandaue, I hope Mayor Jonas will finally be able to see his vision of having a Mandaue City Sports Complex realized, because that will change the landscape not only of Mandaue but of Metro Cebu.

That for me is one of the most exciting things to look forward to after the midterm election.


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