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Baguio cuts P15-M hosting funds for athletic meet

BAGUIO CITY – Baguio will host the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) meet in February with a PHP15-million budget, but city budget people want a reduced expenditure for the regional meet that attracts players from the six provinces and two cities of the region.

“We still have to defend our budget and we continue to meet with our budget people at City Hall,” city sports coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said on Monday.

“They want some cost slashed out and return the project budget to us for further review and amendment,” added Gonzales.

Gonzales said the budget office wants to remove expenses that are not needed or can be cut without affecting the performance of the athletes.

“We will still meet again tomorrow (Dec. 3) to finalize the budget,” he told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

The CARAA will be staged in various venues in the city from Feb. 17-21 next year.

Baguio hosted the event for three straight years from 2015-2017, until Abra, boasting of its new rubberized track, took over in 2018 and Apayao in February this year after its sports facilities had been refurbished and the new tartan tracks installed.

In 2015, Baguio was the host of the event right after the completion of the athletic bowl upgrade and the introduction of the tartan track.

Meanwhile, The Department of Education – Cordillera Administrative Region (DepEd-CAR) is in search of host for the meet’s staging in 2021 and 2022 as well.

Officials of DepEd–CAR said they want to identify the host local government unit early to ensure a well-prepared venue and billeting of schools for athletes and the delegation.

The Dep-Ed CAR said bidders should ensure they have the facility at par with international standards for the various sports events that are accessible and free to the public.

As this developed, elementary and high school athletes are preparing for the Palarong Panlungsod that will be staged from Dec. 9-11.

The event is the qualifier for the CARAA next year.

“Although we will have about half of the events needed to be played yet,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said many of the events were played earlier to declog during the three-day meet.

“Most of the events left are the team events for ball games,” he said. (PNA)

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