TABUK CITY, KALINGA – Officials on Monday voted overwhelmingly to let Tabuk City and Kalinga compete as separate delegations to the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet starting 2019.
Voting 44-5, Kapehan members voted to approve the recommendation of Tabuk City Schools Division to compete as a separate delegation from Kalinga Schools Division.
Among those who voted against the recommendation were City Administrator Lawrence Bayongan and City Vice Mayor Darwin Estranero.
Governor Jocel Baac said that a public hearing will be held to be followed by another round of discussion of the Kapehan body before a final decision is made. He said that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Sangguniang Panlungsod should jointly conduct the public hearing.
Officials deemed that two separate delegations is more advantageous, especially to the Kalinga division.
“This is a chance for the different municipalities to improve their sports program, to compete not only against Tabuk but against other provinces. With two delegations, students get more chances to join the competition,” City Mayor Ferdinand Tubban who voted in favor said.
Other advantages that officials cited include more funding for each division and better sports management.
But Bayongan said that the advantages are disputable and cited negative cultural and political implications of competing separately. “We are one political unit. Inya ngay ti itsura na that we’re competing against each other? We hope that this is not motivated by greed or prejudices against the Kalinga people,” he said.
Vice Governor James Edduba, for his part, said that the separation is inevitable, given that Tabuk City and Kalinga have their respective schools division, each with its own Schools Division Superintendent.
Tabuk City and Kalinga compete as separate divisions in other activities of the Department of Education (DepEd) such as the Press Conference and the Science and Technology fair.
The separation of Tabuk City’s delegation is the recommendation of former Tabuk City OIC-Schools Division Superintendent Felipe Ballitoc. It was pursued by his successor Sally Ullalim.
By Iryll Sicnao