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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Starting April 5, track oval to open 24/7

HEALTH and wellness enthusiasts, even those working on the graveyard shift, may soon jog in peace in a safe space.

For the first time in 24 years, the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) will open its gates on April 5, never to close again anytime soon.

In a Facebook post dated March 27, Mayor Tomas Osmeña uploaded a photo of a brief exchange between him and a worker in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

A certain Zion Kristoffer Isobal asked Osmeña if it would be possible to convert the CCSC into a 24/7 facility just like the Cebu City Public Library.

“That way, we from the BPO side can run, stay fit. I couldn’t think of a better running place at night, away from the prowling backs of the bad guys and those who cover their faces hunched on motorcycles,” Isobal said.

In response, the mayor said that not only will he convert CCSC into a 24/7 facility, the City Government will also put up a study center for students in the area.

“April 5, after Holy Week, Abellana will be 24/7,” Osmeña said.

The development was confirmed by Ricky Ballesteros, manager of the CCSC, in a phone interview yesterday.

Ballesteros, though, clarified that only the track oval will be operational for 24 hours.

“The track oval will be open for 24 hours, but we can’t do the same for the swimming pool. It’s a competitive pool so we have to clean and close it daily. It’s also quite expensive to maintain the pool. We have to close it by 8 p.m. so we can clean it and vacuum it by 4 a.m. before it is opened to the public,” he said.

According to the CCSC manager, the City Government spends around P104,000 a month for chemicals for the pool alone. He said this makes it the most expensive and highly-maintained facility in the CCSC.

But for the track oval, the City only pays three personnel to maintain the cleanliness of the area. Each personnel has a daily salary of P365.

With this, Ballesteros asked those who plan to visit the area to help keep the CCSC clean.

“We would really appreciate it if they could help us maintain cleanliness in the area, while we do our best to keep them safe and enjoy their stay,” he said.

Ballesteros said they will add two more personnel to man the ticketing booth. They will also divide their operations into three shifts, from 4 a.m. to noon; 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day.

At present, the CCSC is open from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m., but the management sometimes extends it to 10 p.m. when the oval is full.

Ballesteros said they will pay a night differential, which is 10 percent of the worker’s basic salary, to those assigned in the third shift.

As for security, Ballesteros said they have enough security personnel manning the entry and exit points, and the oval itself. He added that they will also make sure that the grandstand is well lit.

But with the extended time of operation, he admit that this may entail additional expenses for the City. The City currently pays around P270,000 a month in electricity bills for the CCSC.

However, Ballesteros assured that they will not raise the entrance fee. Regular customers will still have to pay P15 (before 6 p.m.) and P20 (after 6 p.m.), while students pay P10 and P15, respectively.

As for the proposed study center, the CCSC manager said they are still in the initial stage of discussion with Councilor Joy Augustus Young, deputy mayor for education.
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