September 28, 2023

Just as it started with a bang, the finale of the 30th Southeast Asian Games also ended with a stellar performance, not only by our world-class Filipino talents but also by our athletes who all contributed in making us the overall champion. It was also during the finale that Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano announced that the Philippines will soon host the sports meet anew.
The senator said the Philippines success will not be limited to the SEA Games, as there are now plans to establish a sports academy in Tarlac.
Here at home, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced that the local government will again host the Cordillera Administrative Regional Athletic Association (CARAA) meet in 2020.
Baguio will be host by default for it is the only local government unit that submitted its intent to host the meet.
Albeit the hosting will entail yet another huge expense on the part of the local government, the 2020 meet is an opportune time for Baguio to showcase its newest sports amenity – the recently inaugurated Olympic-size swimming pool.
It will also be an inaugural hosting under Magalong who will mark his seventh month in office when the CARAA will be held.
Taking off from Apayao’s successful hosting of the 2019 CARAA, we hope the current leadership will continue to mount a successful event albeit the transitioning of the Athletic Bowl into a world-class sports training facility is snail-paced.
In fact, Baguio still has a lot of catching up in terms of sports facilities, logistics, and training for its athletes but like in any province in the Cordillera, the determination, and the dream to excel through sports are what encourage highland athletes to achieve sports excellence.
Now we hear that the “last-minute” submission of intent to host had some city executives looking for a source of funds. The executive department apparently, has not included in the 2020 executive budget an amount for the hosting. There are also proposals for a “sharing scheme” with the five provinces in the region so as to lessen the burden of host LGU.
The proposition may have some logic to it. But this is something that has to be clarified with the Commission on Audit, the DepEd, and even with other LGUs.
Hosting of the CARAA is not a new thing among LGUs. This is why the DepEd has devised a plan where as early as three years from the actual event, LGUs are informed about the sports meet to give them time to include in the preparation of their annual budgets allocation for it.
If an LGU finds hosting a sports event onerous, the Regional Development Council should discuss in one of its meetings how the six LGUs can improve the administration and management of the CARAA. Simply put, the success of CARAA is not only measured in terms of its peaceful staging but also on the number of athletes who escape poverty and achieve their dreams through sports.
With our athletes having shown in the recent SEA Games that the Cordillera is a source of world-class sportsmen, the CARAA should not be treated as a mere regional sporting event, but as a stepping board for our young athletes, who will soon represent the country in the global stage.