Palarong Bicol 2014 budget lacks P6.4M

VIRAC, CATANDUANES—With a little over a month left before the holding of the next Palarong Bicol in the island province of Catanduanes, organizers of the said sporting event are still confronted with a budgetary shortfall.
A local newspaper report said that as of last September, Rep. Cesar Sarmiento of the province’s lone district already advised DepEd regional officials to transfer the venue to another province in the mainland, citing the difficulty in securing additional funding.
Organizers of the Palaro explained that over half of the P11.1 million budget is yet to be secured.
Last week, the Department of Education Division of Catanduanes called stakeholders to a planning conference which ended with no certainty that they would be able to generate the P6,445,600 needed for the sports activities scheduled from February 1 to 7.
Last year, the regional Palaro was also held in this province. The sports officials admitted that they received financial support from the national government amounting to P50 million. Out of the said amount, P6 million is left which the national government requested to be returned to the national coffers.
Meanwhile, Dicol Rojas, chief of staff of Cong. Sarmiento said that their district representative is still finding ways to source out funds. He explained, however, that they are finding it difficult to look for additional financial support especially with the scrapping of the pork barrel fund.
The Department of Education Regional Office V is yet to give its reaction regarding this matter.