WITH typhoon Ompong expected to leave the country, the 2018 Batang Pinoy National Championships in Baguio City and Benguet Province will finally push through.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez made the announcement following consultations with Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan. In statement distributed to the media, both Ramirez and Domogan said they have decided to forego the opening ceremonies “to allow teams to let the typhoon pass and arrive in Baguio before the competition proper on Sept. 17.
Domogan also promised a “grand closing celebration” in place of the opening ceremony.
Ramirez said a mass is also scheduled this morning (Sunday, Sept. 16) at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City before the athletes, officials and media travel to Baguio.
The two officials also assured the public that all measures to secure and support delegations are being taken.
Ramirez, who also consulted the PSC Crisis Management Team, supported the decision of Domogan to cancel the opening ceremony and instructed his staff to “allow stranded delegates on the way to Baguio to stay in the PSC safe houses.”
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and Philsports have already served as shelter houses for close to 500 athletes who have been stranded in the city due to the tpyhoon.
Batang Pinoy Program Director and PSC Deputy Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy said he is constantly monitoring the developments.
“Chairman Ramirez explicitly instructed us to give support to delegations every way we can,” said Iroy.
Ramirez said that the PSC has received information that there are some delegations considering to pull out because of the storm.
Ramirez said the PSC is now studying the scheduling of major sports events in the country, like the Philippine National Games and the Palarong Pambansa of the Department of Education “not to be held within the storm-months of July to October.”
More than 7,000 athletes, coaches and participants are expected to converge in the country’s “Summer Capital” for the week-long competition.
Ramirez disclosed that there are already seven delegations in Baguio.
He assured support of the PSC on delegations which would need assistance because of the adjustment in the schedule due to the typhoon.
An u pdated general competition schedule has also been released to guide team officials and parents on planning their team’s logistics and travel.
“We will keep the public updated through our social media pages as well as our website,” said Ramirez, who earlier stated that the event will maximize use of technology in disseminating information to the public.
A PSC hotline to answer questions regarding Batang Pinoy was also put in place due to the typhoon.