Limpag: Postponing Cviraa

Mike T. Limpag

I MAY not like how the Capitol seems to be bullying the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province when it comes to its participation of the Cviraa, nudging the mayors not to give financial support to their delegations as WHAT Bobby Nalzaro wrote in in his column so they’d think twice about joining the meet, but I do agree with Capitol’s move to have it postponed.

At this point, I think this decision is already beyond Capitol, DepEd Cebu or even DepEd Central. It’s going to be with the Department of Health (DOH). Based on its last press conference, the DOH has said that mass gatherings should be avoided.

And the Cviraa is one mass gathering of 10,000 athletes, officials, teachers and support crew. And of course, it goes without saying that if you want Cviraa moved over Covid 19 issues, you should also postpone the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo over the same issue. Not doing so is a double standard. Tourism is OK only if Cebu benefits and is not OK if Dumaguete City benefits? The Cviraa will bring in more tourism money and exponentially more people to Dumaguete than the Suroy-Suroy program does to a host.

Originally scheduled on Feb. 15, it was moved to March 15 then March 21 and I think the second postponement may be a blessing in disguise for DepEd. If it was still March 15, that would have left the DepEd less than two days to decide on the meet’s cancellation since athletes usually arrive a day or two before the opening ceremony.

Should it be moved even if the confirmed local transmission of Covid 19 is limited to Manila only? We don’t really know, do we? And is it not better to err on the side of caution? Besides, moving it to mid-April may be a bit advantageous to Cviraa. That two-month lull between the regional meet and the Palarong Pambansa under the usual set-up is spent identifying the delegates, tuning up their training schedule and getting them to peak right in time for the Palaro. Having the Cviraa so near to the Palaro may just hasten those things.

But what if come April, the whole Covid 19 situation in the country still hasn’t stabilized? Well, let’s cross the bridge when we get there but I think as early as now, we’ll have to be open to the possibility that there won’t be a Palarong Pambansa this year.

Unlike the Olympics, which can afford to wait until late this year, the Palarong Pambansa has to happen in May or not at all. June is the start of the new school year and the new cycle of the DepEd step-ladder tournament.

Yes, it will mean a lot of missed opportunities for athletes who may only have this year as their lone chance to compete in the Palaro and be discovered by bigger schools. But sometimes, sports has to take a backseat.

But if the DOH and the DepEd say the Cviraa and the Palaro are a go, I hope Capitol will encourage local government units to support their delegations and I hope Capitol leads by example by giving them access to the Special Education Fund (SEF).

You cannot say you’re concerned for athletes’ welfare but deny the delegations’ access to the SEF that will assure the athletes welfare in the meet.

That’s hypocrisy.