March 3, 2024

As part of its investment for the younger generation of athletes, the Department of Education- Cordillera has urged local government units to upgrade their sports facilities, particularly by installing tartan tracks in the main sports complex.
DepEd-CAR Information Officer Georaloy Palao-ay said building quality sports facilities could bolster the sports development programs in the grassroot level.
“The aim is to elevate sporting events that could be at par with international standards. It is an investment; if they invest on the children then their children would be able to achieve more through sports,” Palao-ay said.
Palao-ay said in order for an LGU to host the regional sports meet, it should have a rubberized track based on the criteria set by Republic Act 10588 or the Palarong Pambansa Act.
He said having high-class sports facilities also becomes a pride of the LGU.
The LGUs in the Cordillera with rubberized tracks are Baguio and Apayao while Abra, Benguet, and Kalinga have ideal sports complex but still lacking Tartan tracks.
During Apayao’s hosting of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association Meet in 2019, the province surprisingly jumped to second place in the overall medal tally from fifth place in 2018.
This was attributed to the financial resources that the Apayao LGU poured in for its sports complex located at the Apayao Ecotourism and Sports Complex in Barangay Payanan, Luna. A total of P60 million was earmarked for the installation of the Tartan tracks and the improvement of the different playing venues during its hosting of the sports meet
Meanwhile, Palao-ay said the provinces of Abra, Kalinga, Tabuk City and Benguet gave their verbal intent to host the Caraa Meet for the next three years. Only Abra officially gave its letter of intent for the hosting of the 2021 games. 
Just like in the Palarong Pambansa, the hosting for the annual regional meet is also through bidding by the various LGUs.
This year’s host, Baguio City, said it has prepared its facilities and programs for the annual games set Feb. 16 to 21 with the theme, “Stronger and bolder, soaring high together.” – Ofelia C. Empian