Senior Provincial Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc said last Wednesday that the budget for the renovation of the Marcos Memorial Stadium in Laoag City has already been approved and is currently “a matter of processing.”
The Marcos Stadium last underwent renovation and had its oval track rubberized between 2008 and 2009, but lack of maintenance soon reduced the oval to a cement track.
The complex now also houses the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO) and Sports Development Office (INSDO), and was the venue of the first Ilocos Norte Youth Games and Ilocos Norte Children’s Games last year.
“[Renovation] has definitely been on our to-do list nang matagal na. Even I go to the Stadium sometimes, and medyo depressing nga, at kung minsan, I also ask to increase the lights kasi ‘pag gabi, medyo madilim na masyado,” said Manotoc.
He acknowledged that quality sports facilities are key in encouraging locals to exercise: “Ayaw mong mag-work out kung alam mong pangit naman yung pupuntahan mo, so we have to make sure that people have options.
“We have to improve it, not only for the locals, but also if ever magho-host tayo ng event. We really have to level up,” he added.
Ilocos Norte might be a host of the Region I Athletics Association (RIAA), according to Manotoc’s talks with Provincial Schools Division Superintendent (PSDS) Mrs. Vilma Eda, but would have a hard time catering to larger-scale or national-level events.
Mr. Cesar de Ocampo, senior manager of School of Tomorrow (SOT) Philippines, earlier expressed his hope for Ilocos Norte to upgrade its sports facilities, saying that the province has high potential as a venue for the yearly National Student Convention (NSC).
Products of the SOT curriculum and NSC include singer-actress and model Nikki Gil-Albert, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Doug Kramer, and Peter Matthew Fowler, who ranked first in the May 2018 Chemical Engineer Licensure Examination. The NSC gathers an estimated hundred schools yearly at the chosen venue.
Manotoc assured that Governor Imee R. Marcos is following up with national agencies and with President Rodrigo R. Duterte with regards to the renovation. – (Mizpah Grace Castro, PGIN-CMO)