Limpag: Should Ironman organizers pay?

Fair play

THERE’S an interesting suggestion from Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia regarding the Ironman, which kicks off its 2019 edition on Aug. 11, 2019 at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.

Governor Garcia wants to charge the organizers for the use of the Mactan-Mandaue bridge, a move that would be a first and one that I think is past due.

Let’s backtrack a little. When organizers of the Ironman met major hiccup last year when then Mayor Tomas Osmeña denied the use of the South Road Properties and when Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco denied their request to close off their roads for the bike portion, they issued a statement about how the event has poured in hundreds of millions of pesos for Cebu over the years. I think P500 million was the figure cited.

Funny thing is, who really got to enjoy that P500 million? Cebu or the organizers? Heck, last year, I think the Cebu Provincial Government spent a million for the opening night of Ironman. As to the P500 million, where did it go? The hotels that got fully-booked? Did these hotels share their bounty with their Cebuano workers? To be honest, I don’t think the ordinary Juan felt that P500 million.

Heck, I think the PAL Intercub is more beneficial to Cebu’s economy than the Ironman. In the four days that a 10-man team is in Cebu, they spend for their daily transportation to and from the venue and have their dinners in local restaurants. Breakfast is taken care of the hotel, while lunch is usually at the golf course. That’s not to mention the hundreds of caddies and umbrella girls who get hired for the two-week event.

In contrast, it’s only Shangri-La that is on seventh heaven every Ironman. If Shangri-La offers an Ironman bonus to all its employees for getting the lion’s share of the P500 million bounty, then good.

And it’s not only Lapu-Lapu that spends for the hosting of the Ironman. Right now, the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay also deploy their personnel for Sunday’s race since the bike portion will cross their areas. That’s traffic and police personnel deployed on a Sunday for a race that originates in Lapu-Lapu City.

So, I hope Governor Garcia pushes through with her idea since, aside from charging Ironman for the use of the bridge, she’s having the organizers donate their traffic cones and barriers to the LGUs after their event.

But I do hope the LGUs involved get more than traffic cones and barriers though.

FIBA NEWS. Here’s something you don’t hear every day. A male basketball player got suspended by Fiba for two years after his urine sample for a drug test revealed that he’s pregnant.

No, that’s not a typo.

DJ Cooper, who plays in Europe and tried to be a naturalized player for Bosnia, tried to cheat his way out of a drug test by submitting his girlfriend’s urine sample. Though clean, the urine sample had hcG, a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy.

So, Fiba promptly suspended Cooper for two years, making him ineligible for leagues in Europe since it follows Fiba rules.


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