By Jerome Galunan Jr.
Despite the failure to host the 2013 Palarong Pambansa, Bacolod and Negros Occidental earned another shot to prove itself as the ‘Emerging Sports Capital of the Philippines’ when Bacolod City accepted the hosting the Batang Pinoy 2013 National Championships on November 19-23.
Mayor Monico Puentevella on Thursday confirmed that the city has embraced the hosting of the said competition after Zamboanga City, the original host, will no longer stage it due to ongoing peace and order conflict in the city following the recent attack from the Moro National Liberation Front.
With this development, Bacolod scored its third hosting rights after it last staged this event in 1998 and 2001 – a brainchild of Puentevella when he was still PSC commissioner before elected congressman in 2001.
When asked if the city would be ready to host this competition as it’s scheduled a month after the MassKara Festival, Puentevella stressed that the Philippine Sports Commission will shoulder almost all the expenses. “The city will not spend much in this event,” the mayor said. “But money will flow into our city’s economy with more than 8,000 athletes and officials coming in. We will gain a lot more,” he said.
The local chief executive expressed gratitude as the city will remain productive after the festival when the 18th Fil-Oil UniGames unfolds right after the MassKara celebration and weeks later, the Batang Pinoy.
Puentevella said that the event will surely benefit different sectors in the city./ WDJ