Cebu News

Palaro Sec-Gen satisfied with preps

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A month ahead of Cebu City’s hosting of Palarong Pambansa 2024, the Cebu City Government is focused on the progress of the preparations, particularly the completion of renovations at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia yesterday, June 13, 2024, spearheaded the ocular inspection of the CCSC’s track oval before meeting with contractors.

In an interview with reporters, Garcia expressed gratitude to Department of Education (DepEd) Assistant Secretary for Operations and Palarong Pambansa Secretary General Francis Cesar Bringas, who was personally present to also inspect the CCSC, which will serve as the opening venue for the Palaro.

Garcia said he was pleased with the progress of the preparations, and he liked that Bringas was also satisfied with the developments at the CCSC. With Bringa’s assessment, Garcia said it shows they are right on track.

Garcia, however, said that there will be refinements onwards, such as the thickness of the track oval, which they will also be bringing up to the contractor.

Cebu City Sports Commission chairman John Pages said last Monday that the city is 90 percent ready for the hosting. But after his ocular visit at the CCSC yesterday, Pages said that the city is now “a few percentage points closer” to hosting the country’s biggest sporting event.

Pages also said that the city made sure to address the major concerns in preparation for the said event, particularly the playing venues, billeting quarters, and the track oval for the delegates.

For the playing venues, Pages said that all the top officials of the Palarong Pambansa are currently in the city for their four-day Palaro Final Technical Conference, wherein they also visited the playing venues and other facilities.

“Based on yesterday afternoon, they visited the facilities and after that, ni kuyog ang tanan for an evaluation. Of course, there are some areas of improvement. But I think generally, we’re ready (and we’re) really just making sure that all the details are taken care of,” Pages said.

As for the billeting quarters, Bringas said that minor adjustments are needed for the billeting quarters as they were previously utilized during the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) 2024 last May.

“The billeting quarters have been used during the CVIRAA. So konting-konting mga adjustments nalang ang gagawin depende nalang sa specifications ng ating regional delegations. But our regional delegations have visited all the billeting quarters, respective billeting quarters and okay naman sila. Wala namang problema,” Bringas said in a separate interview.

Bringas also expressed satisfaction with the preparations despite the changes in leadership of Cebu City adding that it didn’t pose a hindrance to the overall process.

Pages further said that the city will still have to rent portalets for the billeting quarters but this time, with lesser quantity.

“But they’re making use of the restrooms, bathrooms nato existing sa atong mga classrooms. Pero naa gyud gihapon (portalets) tungod kay every school will have about a thousand athletes, coaches, officials staying per school. So, dako dako ang numbers,” Pages said.

Further, Pages expressed his satisfaction with the developments of CCSC’s track oval, which is their “big concern”. He added that the contractor has already given their commitment to finish the lining of the track oval by next week, which will then be followed by the curing.

He assured that it will be ready just in time for the arrival of the athletes.

Pages also said that they are hoping and praying for less rainy days in the next two “crucial” weeks so that the work for the track oval will not be affected.

Meanwhile, the project proponent of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) has assured the Cebu City government that for everyone’s safety, obstructions will be cleared out and uneven roads will be paved before the 2024 Palarong Pambansa next month.

Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the infrastructure committee and named overseer of City Engineering and Public Works office, told The Freeman that he is in close communication with those behind the CBRT project for the clearing of obstructions, especially those within the vicinity of the CCSC.

“I’m in contact communication nila sa kaning CBRT and they assured us na by next week, the uneven roads mapatag na including the bike lanes,” Guardo said, stressing that as much as possible, there will be no more uneven roads before the Palaro from Fuente Rotunda area to E-mall.

“Nagsige nag aspalto sa may City Central. Na smooth na na diha na area and and even na, na level na, going na na padong Abellana and CNU,” Guardo added.

Excavated portions will also be secured to ensure scaffoldings at bus stations will be removed, especially that of station 1 along E-mall and station 2 at ANS-CNU.

“All scaffoldings will be removed. Sa katong excavation portion nga dili pa maapas, butangan lang plastic barriers and caution tape,” added Guardo.

By the end of this month, all scaffoldings around station 1 will already be removed, followed by that in station 2, at least a week before the Palaro opening on July 9.

At the CCSC, Guardo said facelifting of the grandstand and the offices beneath it is also expected to be completed soon, as well as the comfort rooms.

The badminton court area, which will be the receiving area for the delegations, among others, is also being facelifted with new window glasses and will be followed by a repainting of flooring and changing of ramp tiles.

“We can deliver on schedule,” Guardo assured.

The structure that will be used for the LED wall for the opening salvo and other activities is also ongoing.

Guardo also said that he and the rest of the Technical Infrastructure Committee will have an ocular inspection today, June 14, to check on the electrical connections at the CCSC. — Nicholas Jon Malaga /ATO (FREEMAN)

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