by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO
The refurbished Baguio Athletic Bowl will be ready for two big events slated in the city in February.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Tuesday got the commitment of project contractor R.U. Aquino Development and Construction Corporation for the sports facility’s availability for the opening of the Baguio Flower Festival on Feb. 1 and the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association meet on Feb. 7.
Domogan earlier mulled the transfer of the Panagbenga opening venue to Melvin Jones in case the works at the Athletic Bowl will not be completed in time for the activities, which include the opening ceremonies and the street dancing competition featuring the drum and lyre dance contest in the elementary division that serves as the elimination round before the main street dancing event on Feb. 28.
In a coordination meeting, contractor Romy Aquino assured the mayor that by Jan. 31, they will finish all the works including the bleachers, stage, and the compacted grounds with the layout of the oval.
The meeting was attended by Councilor Peter Fianza, who authored the creation of the city sports council, Councilor Elmer Datuin, who chairs the city council committee on tourism, and Acting City Building Officer Johnny Degay.
However, the upgrading of the dirt tracks into rubber tracks will have to wait as the importation process for the tartan material will take time, and thus will not be completed even in time for the CARAA meet from Feb. 7 to 11.
Domogan said the city is working out the purchase of the material from Germany with the Philippine Sports Commission and the importation process will take not less than 60 days.
The CARAA is expected to draw over 5,000 athletes and delegates from the five provinces and two cities of the region. The participants will converge at the Athletic Bowl on Feb. 7 for the opening ceremony.
The mayor said preparations are on track for the athletic meet with the city expected to shell out P2.5 million for the hosting upon approval by the city council.
Hosting the CARAA meet prodded the city government to repair the decrepit sports facility while the massive development plan for the area remains in the works.
The upgrading started with an initial funding of P14M to repair the bleachers and grandstand.
last year, the city late also approved P60M to convert the dirt oval into a tartan track. A counterpart fund from the national government is also expected to complete the rehabilitation of the sports venue.