TABUK CITY, KALINGA – Provincial officials are strongly inclined to split Kalinga and Tabuk City into separate delegations to the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet starting 2019.
Speaking at the Kapehan meeting on March 5, 2018, Governor Jocel Baac expressed his dismay over the province having to solely shoulder the P5 million budget for the 2018 CARAA Meet held last month after the city government failed to pitch in P2 million as was the original agreement.
Baac said that the province had tried to negotiate for at least P500,000 from Tabuk City but to no avail. “Ipalubos tayo langen nga agsina ti delegation,” he said.
The Schools Division of Tabuk City had first pushed to create their own delegation last year under then OIC-Schools Division Superintendent Felipe Ballitoc and the move was since renewed by Ballitoc’s successor, Sally Ullalim. This is the explanation of Department of Education OIC-Regional Director May Eclar during the Kapehan meeting in January.
Baac had strongly opposed the move, stating that it will never be allowed so long as he is the governor of Kalinga and reasoning that he did not want the young athletes fighting each other and “instilling hatred in their hearts”.
He had criticized DepEd Tabuk City for refusing to coordinate with DepEd Kalinga and warned that either the two coordinate with each other to send one delegation or there’s no sending a delegation at all.
Now, almost a month after the CARAA Meet, Baac appears ready to relent, stating on Monday that the separation of Kalinga and Tabuk City will be decided once and for all on the next Kapehan on April 2.
Vice Governor James Edduba, for his part, welcomed the prospect of a separate Kalinga delegation and urged officials “to respond to the challenge”.
Edduba reasoned that a separate Kalinga delegation is an opportunity to discover new talents and develop the skills of athletes in the seven municipalities. “So that we’ll stop depending on Tabuk City [athletes for competitive advantage],” he added.
The 580-strong Kalinga-Tabuk City delegation placed second to last in the recently concluded 2018 CARAA Meet in Abra, bagging a total of 16 gold, 22 silver, and 49 bronze medals.
Engr. Sammy Bayangan who attended the meeting on behalf of Representative Allen Jesse Mangaoang raised his concern that the split might further push the Kalinga delegation to the bottom ranking.
This was downplayed by Kalinga SDS Gloria Buya-ao. “The response was that we are always thinking about the ranking but I told the people in the division that initially we will have to accept that we can be the lowest but that’s only in the beginning,” she said.
She echoed the Vice Governor’s position: “Never mind if we will be number seven but eventually I know we can move up when we concentrate in helping the boys and girls in Tinglayan, Tanudan, and other municipalities. Irasrason da gamin nga taga-Tinglayan, taga-Tanudan metlang dagita player ti [Tabuk City], but we have to accept that they are here in Tabuk. So we might be able to discover boys and girls [in the municipalities] who are also capable.”
SDS Ullalim was present during the meeting but did not give comments. Meanwhile, Tabuk City Mayor Ferdinand Tubban and City Administrator Laurence Bayongan were not able to attend.
By Iryll Sicnao