Add’l P206M requested to host Palaro

CIVIL WORKS. A photo taken on Feb. 2, 2024 shows the ongoing rehabilitation of the Cebu City Sports Center, which will be the main venue for the 28-sport competition involving student-athletes from 17 regions in the country in July. / ARKEEN LARISMA
CIVIL WORKS. A photo taken on Feb. 2, 2024 shows the ongoing rehabilitation of the Cebu City Sports Center, which will be the main venue for the 28-sport competition involving student-athletes from 17 regions in the country in July. / ARKEEN LARISMA

THE executive department of the Cebu City Government is asking for an additional P205,974,032 for the Palarong Pambansa (Palaro).

In a phone interview on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, City Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, said Mayor Michael Rama already signed the request, which will be included in the first supplemental budget that has not yet been submitted to the City Council.

The supplemental budget also includes the charter bonus of city employees.

Wenceslao said the amount is on top of the approved P200 million allocated for the Palaro, which also covers the rehabilitation of the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), the main venue of the annual multi-sport event.

In a phone interview on Friday, Feb. 23, City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros said the additional funding will cover the installation of LED outdoor-field lights at the CCSC amounting to P23 million, the construction and installation of digital-visual LED display with support frames and posts worth P135.186 million and the construction of the grandstand extension amounting to P47 million.

The grandstand extension will be built on the N. Bacalso side of the CCSC, which is currently being used as a parking lot, Hontiveros said.

He said the reason they requested additional funding is because these installations and constructions were not included in the initial P200 million budget when it was approved.

“During the budget deliberations last year, we weren’t able to conduct a walkthrough with Mayor Mike of what he envisioned of the proposed venue for the opening. Then it was established that the closing ceremony will be at the SRP (South Road Properties),” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

According to him, the budget for the Palaro is comprehensive, with a significant portion allocated for health services amounting to P5 million.

He said another portion of the budget is allocated for technical officials and rental of playing venues, as well as purchase of sports equipment.

He said more than a million is allocated for the janitorial services at the playing venues.

Original budget

He said the original budget covers the following:

• A subsidy of P4.5 million for the regional athletic delegation;

• P7.2 million for organizing the learning convention for athletes and student leaders;

• Over P11 million for financial assistance to officials;

• P5 million for food and accommodations for committee members from the central office;

• P2 million as financial subsidy for the Cebu City schools division to cover meetings and conferences leading to the Palaro;

• P20 million for rental and repair maintenance;

• P15 million to cover expenses of the opening and closing ceremonies;

• P22 million for shower rooms and portalets intended for use during the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association in May; and

• P18 million for food for all personnel, as well as tokens, souvenirs, and other expenses.

Hontiveros said the biggest portion of the initial budget will be spent on special events and other related activities, but he did not specify the amount or what the activities are.

Once the rehabilitation and civil works at the CCSC and other sports facilities are completed, they hope Cebu City can host Asian competitions, he said. That’s why they are asking for additional funding, he added.

After the memorandum of agreement for the hosting of the Palaro was signed last Feb. 2, Hontiveros said the City Government allocated a budget of P200 million for the games.

John Pages, Cebu City Sports Commission chairman, said the budget would cover the improvement of the sports facilities and the 20 schools that would be used as billeting quarters, the rehabilitation of the CCSC, as well as the procurement of sports equipment.

The Palaro is scheduled to take place from July 6-17, with an expected delegation of about 10,000 to 12,000 individuals, which will be composed of student-athletes and coaches.

The schedule of events includes delegate arrivals on July 6 and 7, and solidarity meetings and refresher courses on July 7 and 8. The opening ceremony will be held on July 9 at the CCSC, but the 28-sport competition will not officially start until July 11 and end on 15. The closing ceremony on July 16 will be at the SRP, where this year’s Sinulog Festival was held. The delegations will depart on July 17.

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