With new stadium in place, Davao del Norte revives Palaro hosting bid

TAGUM, Davao del Norte — The province of Davao del Norte renews its bid to host a top-caliber national multi-sport event and several other tournaments just a few years since its plan to stage the Palarong Pambansa was derailed by the global financial crisis.

With the Davao del Norte stadium project on target for completion by 12-12-12 or December 12, 2012, the province has revived the bid it first launched in 2008 and has set its sights on no less than the Palarong Pambansa in 2015.

“Bring ’em on. We are ready,” Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario said on Monday after touring the P243-million Davao del Norte Sports Complex. 

The initial target was to host the 2011 Palaro after the province unveiled a P350-million project to build the country’s most modern facility in 2008.

But the economic crisis hit Asia, the cost of materials to erect the state-of-the-art complex skyrocketed, and the project had to give way to other paramount services.

Last year, Del Rosario revived the project with a new design and a trimmed budget.

The province is initially setting its sights on major regional sports events — the Private Schools Athletic Association Regional Games in January, the Davao Regional Athletic Association meet in February, the Batang Pinoy eliminations and the Palarong Pambansa in 2015.

The Palaro uses a hosting cycle that brings the event to Mindanao every four years.

This early, there is a looming battle between two frontrunners in the hosting for the 2015 edition of the Palarong Pambansa — Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte.

Del Rosario only flashed a smile when asked about the anticipated head-on clash between the two provinces for the 2015 Palaro hosting.

Davao del Sur has also started construction of its mega sports and business complex project reportedly worth a whopping P505 Million, more than double the cost of the Davao del Norte facility.

The Davao del Sur sports facility has been eyed earlier by the Philippine Sports Commission as a Mindanao training center for national athletes. The 5,000-seat coliseum located inside the sprawling complex has also hosted several out-of-town games of the Philippine Basketball Association and is set to host the PBA All-Stars next year.

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