Cebu City’s bid to host Palaro on the right track
CEBU CITY, Philippines – With Cebu City’s bid to host the 2024 Palarong Pambansa in July, at least ten private schools and four malls have already committed to being the potential venue for the games, with 20 public schools preparing to be billeting quarters for participating athletes.
This was divulged by Councilor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros, in a privilege speech on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, as he asked for the council’s full support to Cebu City’s bid to host the Palarong Pambansa next year.
Hontiveros, a former professional basketball player, said the bidding for the Palarong Pambansa 2024 is initially scheduled on May 26, 2023. Aside from Cebu City, Negros Occidental, and Antique are also competing to host the Palarong Pambansa next year.
Funding and Preparations
As part of the city’s preparations for the Palarong Pambansa next year, the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), built in 1994, will undergo extensive rehabilitation and renovation work, especially on renovating the track oval and swimming pool.
The city allocated at least P65 million under its capital outlay in its 2023 annual budget for the renovation of the CCSC.
Councilor Noel Wenceslao, one of the commissioners of the CCSC, during the council’s session on Wednesday, said the city is “very much” ready for its budget, and next week, he will be including in the council’s agenda the renovation of the CCSC oval.
Wenceslao also said the city’s private sector has also committed to shoulder other expenses in the hosting.
“Last night, we had a very serious meeting regarding the financial capability of the Cebu City government. It was one of our questions if there is a subsidy from the national government, but wala,” Wenceslao said.
“Anyway, we are very much ready for our budget. That’s why, next week I will be putting in the agenda the charging for the renovation of our oval, and whatever the other expenses, it will be from the private sector,” he added.
Hontiveros also said that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will assist the city in getting additional funding.
Since the Palarong Pambansa’s inception in 1948, Cebu City has only hosted the event twice, in 1954 and 1994.
Hontiveros, who also chairs the council’s Committee on Education, Science, and Technology and Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Culture, said that hosting the Palarong Pambansa is an excellent opportunity to boost the city’s tourism as the influx of visitors and athletes from all over the country can generate significant economic activity.
“One athlete alone would be bringing his or her family to witness the competition; multiply this number to thousands of athletes and we get so many people coming to Cebu City. They would most likely visit the city’s historical and cultural sites, explore our large malls, and have a taste of our night markets, or even visit the several tourist attractions in the far-flung barangays” he said.
He added that hosting Palarong Pambansa 2024 will also be a good opportunity for the city’s student-athletes to be exposed to a wider mileage and have the opportunity to be recruited to top schools in the country.
Hontiveros said the Palarong Pambansa Pre-Qualifying Cluster Meet scheduled in Cebu City either this May or in June which will be participated by Regions 6, 7, 8, and Zamboanga Peninsula or Region 9, is an opportunity to show DepEd that the city is ready to host the Palarong Pambansa next year.
“Sometime next month, we have the cluster game, where the regions from Region 6, 7, 8, and 9 will be coming over to compete for seven games, and naka ready na atong skwelahan kung asa ang mga venue to be held for that seven sports and in a way it’s a trial for us para mapakita sa DepEd that we are capable for next year,” he said.
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