BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) provided for the P50 million needed by the city government to jumpstart the full rehabilitation of the Baguio Athletic Bowl located within the 34-hectare Burnham Park to allow the Summer Capital to host upcoming regional, national and international sports competitions in the coming years, a senior DPWH official said here.
Engr. Alexander Castañeda, district engineer of the DPWH’s Baguio Engineering District, said P32 million from the earmarked amount next year will be utilized to pursue the cutting of tartan rubber on the track oval while the remaining balance of P18 million will be used up for the convention of the wooden bleachers to a concrete one as well as the construction of an access road and the repair of the basketball, volleyball, tennis courts among other major sports facilities.
“We can bid out the project as soon as President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III shall have signed next year’s national budget into law. We can also ask the winning contract tor to execute a risk letter so that the project can immediately proceed so that it can be completed in time for the city’s hosting of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association sports compdetitions,” Castañeda stressed.
He disclosed the P50 million additional funds for the rehabilitation of the Baguio Athletic Bowl was sourced out from the tourism infrastructure fund for next year and which will complement the P60 million to be earmarked by the city government from its 2014 supplemental budget for the rubberised oval for its tracks in order to improve the current condition of the sports complex.
“If the funds from the city government will be released first, then it will be the one to be utilized for the implementation of the rubberised track oval and we will use our programmed budget for the rehabilitation of other facilities within the Athletic Bowl,” Castaneda added.
On the other hand, the DPWH official claimed if their programmed funds will be the one to be released first, then the city government will have to use up the funds for the repair of other facilities within the sports complexes.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the allocation of funds from both the DPWH and city government purposely to rehabilitate the sports facility is a good sign of close coordination among concerned government agencies and the local government.
“Our primary objective is to improve the state of our own sports facility so that we will be able to bid for the hosting of bigger sports events which will bring in more visitors to our city,” Domogan said.
He cited technical people of the DPWH and the city government will continue to closely coordinate with each other in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the programmed projects that will uplift the state of the city’s sports complex.
Domogan cited it is high time that the city’s Athletic Bowl be rehabilitated and upgraded considering that aside from the placing of an Olympic-size swimming pool in the area in 2003, no concrete project has been implemented in the area over the past 12 years.