Cabaero: Cebu’s luck

Nini Cabaero

THERE must have been a reason why Cebu was not included in the venues for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019.

With how things are going in the pre-games activities, Cebu’s exclusion from being part of this turned out to be a blessing.

Cebu is not part of the four venue clusters for the Games that will happen Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. A total of 56 sports competitions will be held in venue clusters, namely, Clark, Subic, Manila and Tagaytay.

Cebu’s only hosting contribution was the torch run participated in by some 6,500 runners two Saturdays ago or on Nov. 16, 2019. Although the run caused traffic jams leading to the South Road Properties, at least Cebu was spared the embarrassment that organizers in Manila are facing.

Cebu had hosted SEA Games events. In 2005, Cebu played co-host and organized the holding of games in venues here. Games held here were dancesport, karatedo, judo, sepak takraw and mountain bike.

In Manila, organizers now are facing criticism for their failure to take care of the needs of athletes who arrived early. Football players from Cambodia and East Timor didn’t expect they would have to wait at the airport for three hours before being brought to the wrong hotel.

They eventually reached the correct hotel, but they missed the schedule that day for their training. Thailand players complained of delays in reaching their hotel and later of not having enough Thai food at the hotel assigned to them.

Such logistical snafu left Philippine organizers red in the face. Malacañang had to issue an apology to the athletes for the problems they faced on arrival in Manila.

“As host country, we apologize for the unintentional inconvenience suffered by our athlete-guests,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

Cebu was lucky to not be a part of this.

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Something to look forward to. One of the most-read articles on last week was the promise to have the first state-funded medical college in Central Visayas, to be built at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu.

The school will help address the lack of doctors in the region. The doctor-client ratio in Central Visayas is pegged at one doctor per 28,341 patients, far from the ideal of 1:100 ratio which is the goal of the Universal Health Care Act.

The school will be run by the Cebu Normal University and the VSMMC College of Medicine. Administrators of the two schools met since last year on the project.

They are in the process of applying for a permit from the Commission on Higher Education for its five-year degree program in Doctor of Medicine with Masters in Public Health Governance. Plan is to have the school operational by August 2020.

This is one project that is awaited by many and should not suffer any bureaucratic impediment. It has to be pursued to address a basic need.