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Dads approve implementing rules and regulations of Baguio Sports Development Code.

COUNCILOR and Sangguniang Kabataan chair Levy Lloyd Orcales during a talk at the University of Baguio. Photo courtesy of UB

Nineteen months after its passage and another two years of crafting,  the city looks forward to having a sports program that will truly benefit athletes that will result to better performances in national and international competitions.

This after the city council approved the revised implementing rules and regulation of Ordinance 47, series of 2021 or the Comprehensive Sports Development Code.

Said measure was further amended via Ordinance 25 earlier this year.

“We expect full implementation (of the) sports code and we hope we can improve all government systems and mechanisms for the incentive program, trainings and other support mechanisms,” said an elated councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, principal author of the ordinance.

Orcales earlier said that sports code will, hopefully, “provide more opportunities for growth and further enhance a better sports promotion and development for athletes, coaches, and sports enthusiasts,…”

The sports code has gone through several process with the first draft filed with the city council in November 2019. After consultations with coaches, athletes and enthusiasts at the Supreme Hotel on January 2020, a final draft was completed which was finally approved last Monday during its third and final reading.

It will be remembered that in March of 2021, Orcales expressed jubilation with the approval of the ordinance as he thanked those who helped in its crafting.

He said: “ We would like to thank all our partners from the various schools, universities and colleges in the city, local sports associations and clubs, our athletes, coaches and all officiating officials, the Department of Education Baguio Division Office, barangay and SK officials, private individuals, sports enthusiasts, the men and women from the City Sports and Recreation Division, the members of the city council and to all who have shared their insights and recommendations for the development of this City Sports Code.”

The passage of the ordinance will finally see the creation of the city sports council with the mayor as chair and Orcales as co-chairman. The council includes the: city administrator will be appointed as the action officer and the Sports and Recreation Division Head as the secretary; and, members that come come from different city government offices, non-government associations, and sports associations.

The primary function of the sports council is to serve as a recommending body of the city on matters concerning sports and recreation, while also tasked to address concerns in marketing, promotions, sports tourism, media, athletes with disabilities, sports medicine, sports infrastructure and facilities, and barangay sports, among others.

With the sports code in place, and the IRR to back it, the city will now register all athletes, trainers, coaches and local sports associations (LSAs) with the City Sports Council. Only those registered will be allowed to represent the city in any sports events and are eligible for incentives and other forms of assistance from the city.

Before the regular session last Monday, Orcales was confident that his colleagues will not oppose or introduce amendments to the then proposed IRR as he told them that it can be done middle of next year.

Some of his colleagues want the removal of the provision of funding to the Fil-Am golf tournament where some of the council members, city officials or sometimes “drivers or friends” take part of at the expense of the city.

“We can tackle that in the future but we must now have the IRR,” said Orcales adding that this will now effect the selection of city athletes and coaches.

Moreover, he is looking forward to the comprehensive sports development plan of the City Sports Development Office as this will give the direction of the city in all its sports program.

He said full budget of the said office as to its sports program had been put on hold until said plan is delivered.

Orcales hopes to have in place all the mechanisms that will improve performances of the athletes before he steps down from office in December next year before the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections as he look at the sports code as his legacy.

Meanwhile, mayor Benjamin Magalong, during the ceremonial tee of the 72nd Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament Thursday, expressed delight in the passage of the sports code IRR as he said government has made sure to put up all training facilities that will help athletes.

During his term, projects were started at the Baguio athletic bowl including the extension of the big grandstand, the PhP381 million Youth Convergence and Sports Complex, the put of an athletes quarter and the PhP110 million tennis court upgrade.

Also lined up are the archery range, a climbing wall for extreme sports and the renovation of the archery range.

On top of that, some of the barangays have multi-purpose barangay halls that have modern basket courts that serve as emergency centers during calamities. Also lined up are the construction of similar facilities in Gabriela Silang worth PhP50 million that will service the neighboring villages of Hillside, Sta. Escolastica, Scout Barrio and Upper and Lower Dagsian; and, the PhP70 million Pacdal facility. Pigeon Lobien

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