Briones: The more than year-long CCSC renovation

Publio J. Briones III
Publio J. Briones III

Let me take another jab at the Cebu City Government for its lackluster effort to complete the rehabilitation of the 400-meter-long track oval inside the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

May 18, 2024 will mark the one-year anniversary since the City closed the CCSC’s doors to the public on the pretext that it would repair the facility in time for the Palarong Pambansa, which it will be hosting in July this year.

It has taken the City one year to scrape out the oval’s rubber surface. It has yet to start laying the replacement (see photo). That’s 365 days to work on 400 meters, which translates to an average of more than a meter a day. Are my calculations correct?

But wait. The City is only “halfway” through its renovations.

All this time, and work is only 50 percent completed. It must be a herculean undertaking. I wonder what they’re doing over there.

Will the CCSC still be recognizable when it partially opens to athletes in June? Will it?

I mean, are my expectations too high? Because, let’s face it, I expect to be wowed during the big reveal after having to wait all this time to finally use the oval again after the City, without warning, shut the CCSC’s gates last year.

And no. I won’t be overwhelmed if the bleachers sport a new coat of paint.

But if I can wait a year, what’s another two months, right?

That’s why I should cut the City Government some slack. After all, we all know Mayor Michael Rama and his administration are embroiled in several disputes. Trust me, fighting on several fronts is no easy feat. Plus, the City has one hand tied behind its back working on a limited budget.

I think that is the primary reason why the CCSC renovation is taking so long. In the grand scheme of things, we all know sports and matters related to it take a back seat when it comes to prioritizing basic services.

But that’s just it. If funding was a problem, why didn’t the City wait to secure the amount needed to implement the project first? For me, it never made sense to let the facility stand idle for months when it could have continued to earn an average of P60,000 a day. That money could have been used to help address the funding issue.

Then again, who am I kidding? What’s done is done. No amount of ranting could shave off the pounds I gained because I couldn’t jog at the oval.

And that is the crux of my beef with the City Government. I have not been a happy camper because I am this close to be officially fat again. And please, don’t accuse me of being fatphobic. I used to weigh almost 300 pounds and it wasn’t easy carrying all that weight around.

So am I blaming the City for my weight gain? It would appear I am. Shouldn’t I accept full responsibility for succumbing to the temptation? No, I shouldn’t. Truth be told I only managed to keep my appetite on a tight leash for over a decade because I could rely on the CCSC.

Am I being selfish? Of course, I am. But that doesn’t mean the questions I raised aren’t valid.

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