Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez today announced that the Batang Pinoy National Championships, scheduled September 15 to 21 in Baguio City and Benguet Province will push through, but that they will forego the opening ceremony and games start on the 17th.
This decision was reached after two days of monitoring and consultations between PSC and the host city’s Mayor, Atty. Mauricio Domogan.
In a joint statement, both officials assured the public that all measures to secure and support delegations are being taken.
Domogan, after consultations with the city’s risk reduction and management team and the PSC secretariat group, decided to cancel the opening ceremonies, but promised a “grand closing celebration.”
Domogan said that “this adjustment will allow teams to let the storm pass and be in Baguio by Sept. 16.”
Ramirez, gathering the Crisis Management Team of the PSC, supported the decision of the host city and instructed his team to accommodate all delegations who need a “safe house” on the way to Baguio. The historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and the Philsports Complex in Pasig City are both prepared to house delegations who need shelter while the storm blows over.
Batang Pinoy Program Director and PSC Deputy Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy is constantly monitoring the developments.
“Chairman Ramirez explicitly instructed us to give support to delegations every way we can,” he said.
Ramirez said “we received information that there are some delegations considering to pull out because of the storm. We understand their concern.” He added that the agency is studying the scheduling of major sports events in the country, like the PSC’s Philippine National Games and the Palarong Pambansa of the Department of Education “not to be held within the storm-months of July to October.”
Around 7,000 athletes, coaches and participants are expected to come to the City of Pines for the said event. Iroy disclosed that there are already seven delegations in Baguio as of today.
Ramirez said the PSC will help delegations who would need assistance because of this schedule adjustment.