WITH the improvement of its owns sports complex in Bangued, Abra Province is being eyed to be the next sports hub in the Cordillera region.
Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Celia Kiram during her recent visit in the province said Abra is primed to be a sports tourism destination in the Cordillera region and north Luzon, owing to the rehabilitation of its sports complex which recently hosted some 5,000 athletes and coaches during the week-long Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa) meet.
Kiram said with the current peace and order situation in Abra, albeit an isolated grenade blast in La Paz town, is ready to host other sporting events such as Batang Pinoy among others.
“I was here in Abra maybe 12 years ago, but I have seen now a new Abra that has leveled up to the highest. I foresee later on that Abra can host national sports competition,” said Kiram.
Kiram was one of the guest during the Caraa meet last week.
“Dati walang sports complex ang Abra, ngayon mayroong isang international size sports complex na lahat ng sports pwedeng ganapin dito,” added Kiram.
It took 17 years before Abra finally hosted the largest sporting competition for elementary and high school athletes in the region with Baguio retaining the over-all title while the host province improved to fourth place finish over-all after a sorry last place in the 2017 edition.
Construction of the multi - million sports complex started in 2015 with a loan coming from Land Bank of the Philippines aimed to showcase of the province’s willingness to host regional sporting events like Caraa.
The 3.4 hectare sports complex was bidded out to Young Builders Corporation, contractor of the P242.8 million Davao Del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City, which hosted the 2015 Palarong Pambansa.
Abra was supposed to host the 2012 Caraa meet but it was Kalinga which was given the green light to host the regional sports meet by the Department of Education-Cordillera.
The PSC commissioner also vowed to help in the grass roots development program of the province.
“Ang objective namin sa PSC ay ang lahat ng bata sa buong Pilipinas ay maglalaro ng sports ng ganun, lahat ng problema, unang-una sa droga at peace and order ay mabigyan ng solusyon,” said Kiram.