Lobbying and finding for Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Games funding is a tricky thing.
The government, who is the main promoter and organizer of this event, is fundamentally barred from spending money that do not inure to the benefit of majority of society.
If it is the Local Government Units (LGUs) spending for the CARAA, the expenditure does not abide with this criterion.
The Department of Education (DepEd) whom the participants are under of, or some other sports promoting government agency, spending for this activity will be justified in doing so as it is their mandate to promote these activities.
It’s surprising method that DepEd makes hosting duties of the CARAA Games be acquired through bids of LGUs. It seems they are in the belief that hosting the games gives the host LGU some sort of advantage.
To which the LGUs think otherwise as clearly demonstrated by their rather cold reception in accepting it for the 2020 edition.
We hope these agencies will resolve their differences and find a compromise that will make hosting of the games acceptable to both parties for the sake of Cordillera sports.
LGUs needs to make the first sacrifice
LGUs have to provide the playing venues. Period.
LGUs’ spending government money on venues is well justified, especially if such venue is of the multi-purpose kind.
Elected leaders may want to pour money into these aspects to serve multiple purposes and along the way, at least partially encourage promotion and advancement of sports.
Sports projects are like donations
Sponsoring athletes and events is another story. Its economics requires a very special kind of situation for a LGU to spend for these types.
You see, spending for sports events are likened to making donations. They don’t produce any return for the population except for the entertainment value and the short-term income generating activities it provides.
And when the spending benefits only a certain individual or group, the expenditure will never be justified.
Sponsoring varsity athletes is a bad idea
Another difficulty for the athlete here is private individuals’ sponsoring amateur athletes, especially they are still in elementary and high school, and giving them idea that that there is a chance to earn money aside for the monetary award set by law is a bad idea.
I still stand by the idea that completing education should be the main focus of varsity athletes. It is all about students performing well in sports in order to finish their studies, not earning money. Even though that earnings could potentially be in millions someday.
It is also a bad look for these individuals and companies to give the public an image of them milking profits out of these young athletes.
Allowing private individuals and companies to sponsor amateur athletes could show a wrong example, like not concentrating on finishing studies but rather playing for money, and set a bad chain of events for the athlete and the sport involved.
Enter: private sector
DepEd already emphasized it in their requirements for a hosting bid: “Uncompromising unity of all socio-economic political groups, government, and non-government entities in ensuring the successful staging of the regional sports event has been manifested from the host” is a requirement.
The DepEd also said that if no LGU wants to host the event, the games will not be played.
We know that all socio-economic political groups and non-government entities do not supply funding. And if funding is the problem, the business sector could be the answer.
Again, let me emphasize, I understand the dangers of commercialization of events like the CARAA.
On the other hand, it is the business sector that has the resources to make events like these happen.
These business companies aren’t tied up like the government to spend money on events like this one. They could as well invoke corporate social responsibilities as a reason why they want to help make this event happen.
Although, it would also be irresponsible at their end if they spend big amounts that wouldn’t produce something for their brand. After all, their main objective is to earn profit.
Finding a compromise to make the business sector part of the source of funding and allowing them to reap some sort of return, maybe some in intangible form like goodwill, in a legal and ethical manner may do the CARAA games some good.
Maybe like displaying an advertorial tarp in the playing venue; being acknowledged during ceremonies; or being mentioned in press releases.
Stakeholders and organizers just have to set the parameters on what kind of expenditure they are allowed to make and what allowable returns they expect to get.
If that’s even possible to begin with.
Business sector involvement may attract corruption
Then again, propositions like this one tend to be a source of corruption for government officials.
You see, there is this “What’s in it for me” thing going on whenever sports endeavors are made by the government. When big amounts are required to be disbursed, personal agendas often enter the picture.
It’s a principle that is often misused and abused by some people who are supposed to be in public service.
I hope this mentality ends when it comes to sports because if it does not, sports and the young sportsmen are at the losing end no matter what.
By ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS