DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 Feb) – The provincial government of Lanao del Norte is planning to turn over its multi-million sports complex to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
The local government unit’s plan on the sports complex within the Mindanao Civic Center (MCC) in the capital town of Tubod is intended to boost the province’s economy, according to Joseph Encabo, the chief of staff of PSC chairman William Ramirez.
Lanao del Norte’s economy relies mainly on agriculture and fishing. Tourism is also a growing economy, with the province’s coastal shorelines in the north and high plateaus and mountains in the south.
Encabo said the provincial government under Gov. Khalid Dimaporo had submitted a proposal to the national sports agency with regards to its desire to turn over the P50-million sports complex.
"When the Tubod sports complex will be managed by PSC, it will be very beneficial for athletes in Mindanao to get proper training closer to their homes,” he added.
MCC is an impressive 71-hectare integrated complex with a 5-hectare trade center, various sports facilities spread in 18 hectares, and there is still a 48-hectare open lot for the proposed 18-hole golf course, picnic park and sports academy.
“They would like to turn over the sports facilities because they want to maximize its use with more sports competitions to attract more people to visit the province,”
Encabo said.The proposal is for a 50-50 sharing in revenues between the LGU and the PSC. The latter’s share will be used for the maintenance of the sports facilities.
The MCC sports complex hosted the inauguration of the Mindanao Friendship Games (MFG), a sport for peace event for the various LGUs across the island in 2001.
It also hosted the Palarong Pambansa, a multi-sports event for the elementary and secondary students nationwide, the following year.
This year’s revival of the MFG, which became dormant for half a decade, will be held once more at the MCC on Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
Should the planned turn over push through, the national sports agency is expected to open another Mindanao satellite office in Tubod.
The PSC’s first such office was opened here last week.Encabo also announced the plan of the provincial government to put up a sports academy wherein Mindanawon potential athletes get to train and study at the same time, thus making it the “training capital” of future national athletes from Mindanao.
“That concept is much better because the athletes would be kept away from various temptations in Manila that could imperil their training,” he said, adding that it would also mean less expense for the PSC because Mindanao athletes do not have to be brought to Manila anymore. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)