The provincial government of South Cotabato is planning to upgrade the province’s sports facilities as it sets its sights on the possible hosting of national and international sports events in the next few years.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said on Tuesday that the initial studies are underway to determine the necessary modifications and developments that would improve the existing facilities within the South Cotabato Sports Complex in Koronadal City.
“It’s our ultimate dream to attract and host major international sporting events in the future like the Asian Games,” the governor said in a radio interview.
The South Cotabato Sports Complex, which is the main venue of the 2014 Region 12 or Soccsksargen Regional Athletic Association Meet that opened on Monday, is considered as among the best and most modern sports venues in the region.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
The sports complex has a rubberized standard track oval; tennis, basketball, volleyball and sepak takraw courts; baseball and football fields; and an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Adjacent to it is an air-conditioned gymnasium, which has a 5,000 seating capacity, for various indoor games.
But Fuentes said the complex already needs some major improvements, among them the replacement of the rubberized track oval.
“We need around P30 million for a new rubberized track and we’re targeting to accomplish this within this year,” she said.
Besides the upgrading of the South Cotabato Sports Complex, the governor said they are working on another plan to develop the sports complex in Surallah.
She said they are initially planning to install a rubberized track at the facility, which is being eyed as an alternate venue for major sporting events that would be hosted by the province.
“Once we put in place all these improvements, we will immediately bid for the hosting of major sporting events, starting with the Palarong Pambansa,” Fuentes said.
Two years ago, Koronadal filed a bid to host the Palarong Pambansa in 2015.
Koronadal City previously hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 1996 and 2007.
The South Cotabato Sports Complex served as one of the main venues of the 7th Brunei, Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area Friendship Games.