The city government of Puerto Princesa has resumed work on infrastructure projects sidetracked by the pandemic, as it bids to host sports-related activities as soon as the country welcomes leisure travels.
Ezrha Miguel, executive assistant at the City Engineering’s Office (CEO), in an interview with Palawan News, said that the padded facilities at the Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex is eyed to host the Palarong Pambansa.
“Actually gusto kasi ng city na mag-bid sa Palarong Pambansa. Ngayon, may mga requirements sila na mga facilities para ma-qualify ‘yong city. Nag-upgrade na sila ng mga laro eh. Wala tayong sariling table tennis, wala tayong sariling tennis court, wala tayong sariling badminton court,” Miguel said.
The construction thrust, Miguel added, was also to save money by investing on “sports facilities” near the Balayong Park, instead of renting out private facilities for the sport events.
“Dati ang ginagawa nag re-rent lang sa mga private na palaruan. So ang ni-require is makaka-save din ‘yong city kung may sarili kasi magagamit din siya after ng event na ‘yon. Nagkaroon ng idea ‘yong city na magdagdag ng facilities na wala dito, total may space naman,” Miguel added.
Mayor Lucilo Bayron, in a statement during the tourism recovery online session with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on May 22, said that the city government has rebooted the tourism-related infrastructure programs as it prepares to “recover in the next two to three years”.
Bayron enumerated the city’s current projects including the construction of the Balayong Park; planning of a 5,000-seater convention center; and other infrastructure projects that have already resumed since the onset of a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) on May 1.
“For 2021 and beyond, we will start to sponsor events and pursue sports tourism,” Bayron told the stakeholders.
With an over-all budget of P840 million for urban development in 2020, some private contractors have extended their earlier target completion date. The delay, however, were incurred because of the hampered supply of construction materials.
“Actually mabilis ‘yong trabaho, mabilis sila mag trabaho. Ang nagiging cause lang ng delay ay ‘yong mga slight changes at ‘yong availability ng mga materyales. Kasi nag o-order pa sila sa Maynila,” Miguel said.
“Actually mayroon sila request na extension dahil dapat by April tapos na sila. Pero kung titignan mo ‘yong reality dapat one year siya matapos, parang umaabot na siya ngayon ng one year dahil na-delay din sila dahil sa pandemic noong March,” Miguel added.