Baguio to have tartan track oval this year

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BAGUIO CITY– The city will be having its own tartan or rubberised track oval at the Burnham Athletic Bowl this year but not in time for the staging of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) sports meet this February.

However, Engr. Alexander C. Castaneda, district engineer of the Baguio City District Engineering Office (BCDEO) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said the Athletic Bowl could still be used barangay the public in time for the CARAA sports meet and the activities lined up for the 20th edition of Panagbenga such as the opening day parade and elimination round of the streetdancing competition, the grand street parade, the grand float parade and the closing ceremonies.

He said the main bleachers will be completed by the contractor in time for the aforesaid act6ivities but the secondary bleachers will still be scheduled for upgrading using the funds coming from the national government after all major city activities shall have commenced by the first week of March.

“It will take sometime for the tartan rubber to arrive from Germany where it will be bought. However, the backfilling and the flattening of the track surface will be done by the end of the month so that it could be used by competing athletes in time for the CARAA,”  the DPWH-BCDEO official said.

According to him, the tartan rubber from Germany will be arriving in the country 60 days after the contractor shall have placed the order for the purchase of the material with the supplier in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan commended the DPWH-BCDEO for trying to fastrack the completion of the athletic bowl rehabilitation, including the tartan track oval, to be in time for the CARAA sports meet but the lack of material time caused the delay in the completion of the project.

“We can proceed with the CARAA events in the athletic bowl short of the tartan track oval. We were assured by the implementing agency and the contractor that the athletic bowl will be available for all sports and Panagbenga activities before its full rehabilitation will push through,” Domogan said.

Earlier, the DPWH-BCDEO earmarked P14.7 million from the agency’s regular infrastructure budget last year to initially improve the bleachers of the athletic facility while another P50 million was allocated by the agency from its annual budget this year for the tartan track oval and the continuous rehabilitation and improvement of the main and secondary bleachers.

On the other hand, the city government allocated around P60 million from its supplemental budget last year to augment the funds from the DPWH for the construction of the alternate road and the improvement of the drainage of the athletic bowl in order to allow the city to host future regional, national and international sports compet5itions. Domogan is optimistic that the athletic bowl will be fully rehabilitated this year so that the city could bid for the staging of future Palarong Pambansa sports competitions and other prestigious sports events in order to help boost the growth of the local tourism industry by being one of the preferred venues for sports competitions because of the city’s cool weather. By Dexter A. See

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