City cites “inaccuracies” in story on UP oval track

There are a number of erroneous statements in the article entitled “Field of failure?” about the track oval in the Davao City-UP Sports Complex published in the 24 November 2019 issue of the Edge Davao newspaper, and the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao wishes to address these head on.

The entire Sports Complex is an inter-agency effort between the City Government of Davao and the University of the Philippines, in consultation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). The PSC has been consulted from the planning to the implementation of the various projects in the Sports Complex. For the track oval, PSC engineers and architects have regularly inspected and monitored the project. Hence, any decisions regarding the specifications of the track oval is in conformity with the advice of PSC.

Regarding claims that the track oval facility “did not pass the standards of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF),” the university would like to point out that the oval was just completed last 13 March 2019; and given that an IAAF certification requires a fee of considerable amount (approximately P1.5 million), the university has not attempted to have the track oval certified because it does not yet have the financial resources to do so. Hence, any claims that “for the sports complex to host athletics event for either the Palarong Pambansa or the Southeast Asian Games, it has to be tweaked to standards” is therefore pure speculation at this point.

The university would also like to assure the public that the contractor of the civil works of the oval has complied with IAAF specifications as stipulated in the IAAF Track and Field Manual 2008 edition and that the installer of synthetic track is certified as a service provider by the IAAF. Every phase in the site preparation and actual installation of the track oval has been subjected to rigorous measurements in line with the said standards. In response to the observed slope in the track oval, the manual actually allows for this, stating:

For the competition area for Track Events the following maximum gradients shall apply:
– 0.1% downward in the direction of running. Should the gradient of the sprint track as part of a Standard Track vary, the inclination is measured in a straight line between start and finish line for each event.
– 1.0% across the width of the track towards the inside lane. The traverse 1.0% gradient is primarily to ensure quick drainage of rainwater from the track surface. . . . (chap. 2, p. 33)

We would also like to dispel the notion that designing a “double bend” track oval makes the facility “nonstandard” as alleged in the article. In fact, such ovals are permissible as per IAAF rules. To quote from the manual: “It is normal for an athletics track to be used for other sports. Generally, this involves using the interior of the 400m tracks as a pitch for soccer, American football or rugby. Obstacle-free sports areas in the segments at the same level as the playing field without kerbs over which sportsmen could stumble can be included in the safety zones.” The manual then provides specifications for “double bend” ovals, and the one in the Sports Complex has complied with these specifications as evidenced by the plans available at the university’s Campus Planning and Development Office.

The decision to integrate the football field with the track oval was done for practical reasons to address limited space and budget. It would have been more costly to have two separate stadiums for football and track and field. Moreover, the use of artificial turf for the football field was done because natural grass will require 10,000 L of water twice a day to maintain, which is counter to the “green UP” initiative promoted by the university. But because of this decision, throwing events cannot be held within the stadium as the impact of objects hitting the artificial turf will damage it considerably; hence, a throwing and archery field is being constructed adjacent to the stadium. Jumping events may also be integrated outside the track oval at a later date, but the university currently does not have the budget to develop the area allotted for these events.

During the Palarong Pambansa last April, the open area for jumping and throwing found adjacent to the stadium was not yet finished; hence, the organizers decided to hold archery matches there instead and hold all football matches in the stadium. The track and field events were transferred to the University of Mindanao facility in order to have all related events such as running, throwing, and jumping in one venue.

Furthermore, the tournament manager of the Davao City Athletics Association (DCAA was made aware of the as yet non-existent facility for jumping and throwing but still decided to have these events in the Sports Complex, necessitating the creation of a makeshift long jump venue outside the oval. In fact, DepEd signed a memorandum of agreement stating that they will take charge of “Preparing, maintaining, and clearing all areas to be used for all track and field games.”

But the biggest error in the said article is the claim that the track oval costs P450 million. The cost for civil works (approximated based on the area as this process was done for both the football field and track oval) and the laying of synthetic track amounts to about P55.5 million only, which is funded by UP. Other facilities in the Sports Complex, such as the stadium surrounding the track oval and football field, is implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

UP Mindanao has no record of being contacted by the writer of the article or any representative from the publication to verify the information contained in the said article. The university remains open for any request for information regarding facilities being constructed within its campus.

Stock Up This Christmas With the Best Gift of All: Knowledge Through Books

Throughout Davao, garlands festooned with baubles are up everywhere, fairy lights are twinkling, and carols are playing all around. The ‘Ber’ months are here and Christmas is in the air at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. Madayaw, Davao! Share the love of reading with your loved ones this Christmas. You may see a trolley stuffed to the brim with handpicked titles whizz by with the sound of tambourines jangling. Just reach in and grab any book that catches your eye!

With the Christmas season right around the corner, the time to celebrate with your loved ones starts now. First thing first, Christmas Gifts – your worry of what to get for Christmas gifts is over! Head over to Enderun Tent, Azuela Cove where the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is happening for 24-hours till December 2, 2019 and entrance to the Sale is FREE. Get all these books and more for up to 50% to 90% off recommended retail price and surprise your friends and family members with meaningful gifts this Christmas!  

During Kris Kringle, give the gift of books from the section dedicated to Christmas titles for adults and children alike. In the Victorian Christmas classic, ‘A Christmas Carol’, Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean-spirited miser in but his journey with three spirits will change him forever. Go for beautifully illustrated pop-up books such as ‘Jingle Bells: A Magical Pop-up Edition’ that can double as display pieces during pasko and for some holiday romance, you can’t go wrong with some Nora Roberts’ ‘Christmas in the Snow’.

With over 1 million books available at the Sale, bibliophiles will be spoilt for choice with the genres at hand. Non-fiction books galore await with everything from Craft & Hobbies, Architecture & Design to Cooking. Why not prepare an amazing spread for Noche Buena with some books on cooking like ‘The Little Pasta Cookbook: Favourite Recipes from an Italian Garden’ or ‘Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food’. There’s also nothing better than curling up with a good thriller like ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest’ or going for a read like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ for a good dose of romance and comedy. In the brilliantly illustrated volume of ‘Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes’, Rick Riordan’s legion of fans can step into the world of Greek mythology. The greatest story ever told unfolds through colorful depictions in the ‘Illustrated Family Bible’ that is a special keepsake that can be cherished for years to come.

At the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, you don’t have to wait for Santa to visit as books are offered at 50% to 90% off recommended retail price. Book lovers can pick up box sets like ‘A Classic Case of Dr. Seuss’. For the sophisticated reader, ‘Posh & Proud: Interior Design Deluxe’ features a luxurious velvet cover and every page is a celebration of opulent interior design concepts. Add some romance to the mix with ‘Love What Matters’, a collection of stories about raw and inspiring moments in life. As Christmas is all about the children, they’ll be eagerly anticipating gifts from everyone. If you’re looking for a present for your little ones, the Magical Books will enthrall them as the books incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) for an interactive reading experience where characters come to life in all 14 titles at the Sale including ‘ABC Fun with Mickey’ and ‘123 Counting Fun with Mickey’ to choose from.

To spread the joy of giving this Christmas, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale has pledged to build 50 transitional houses for the recent earthquake victims through its partner – Gawad Kalinga. Call your friends and be part of this initiative! For every book purchased, a portion of the proceeds will be contributed towards the building of the houses. The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Davao 2019 will also be pledging 500 books that will be donated to various schools in Mindanao to start off the donations. Those who want to do their part for the community can donate books at the designated Red Readerhood corner during the Sale and as of November 25, 2019, total of 649 books have been collected so far.

Head over NOW to Enderun Tent, Azuela Cove with your friends and family and spread the joy of reading!

Bong Go rallies nation to fully support PH delegation to SEA Games

With the 2019 Southeast Asian Games nearing its opening next week, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go rallied his fellow Filipinos to fully support Team Philippines and assured Filipino athletes of full government support during his visit to Mandaue fire victims in Cebu City on Saturday, November 23. 
“Ako naman, ito ang panahon hindi para magturuan at magsisihan. Kailangan ng mga atleta natin ang ating full support. Barely one week na lang, magbubukas na po ang SEA Games. Let’s aim for the gold,” he said, adding that he hopes that the country will place higher in the medal rankings this year after it placed 6th in the last edition of the Games in Malaysia. 
“Number 6 tayo noong nakaraang SEA Games. May home court advantage tayo ngayon. Let’s aim for one of the top three positions. Magtulungan tayo,” Go said.
As for alleged anomalies in the handling of the funds for the Games, Go said that he himself is willing to investigate should the allegations are proven substantial. 
“As Senate Committee Chair of Sports and member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, handa akong imbestigahan ang mga alegasyon. Kahit piso lang ang mawala sa gobyerno, handa akong imbestigahan ‘yan,” he said. 
“Basta full support tayo sa mga athletes. Lahat ibinibigay natin sa kanila. Kailangan natin ngayon ay magkaisa,” he added. 

First Phil-Indo Maritime Training kicks-off

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command opened the First Philippine-Indonesia Maritime Training Activity (MTA) at the Naval Station Felix, Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City on November 25, 2019.

The one week combined force training activity that has kicked-off today and expected to conclude on November 30, 2019, will be hosted by the Philippines. It will involve personnel from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) and members of the Indonesian Second Fleet Command.

The exercise ranges from naval doctrine discussion, tabletop exercise, and open sea drills and maneuvers, which aims to enhance the readiness of both navies in addressing their common maritime security concerns and interests.

In his remarks during the opening ceremony, Lt. Gen. Santos Jr. emphasized the proactive stance of both forces to be abreast with the dynamic maritime security environment.

“It is imperative for us to keep up with the everchanging maritime security environment and develop more robust approaches in addressing maritime security,” he said.

Four naval ships will be used during the MTA with NFEM deploying BRP Apolinario Mabini and BRP Liberato Picar, while the Indonesian will be utilizing KRI Layang and KRI Pandarong and will be sailing along the Philippine waters during the activity.

“The activity is Navy to Navy and it is more on military exercise compared to CORPAT- PHILINDO, which includes other civilian agencies from both countries,” Commodore Antonio C. Palces, Commander of NFEM explained.

First Admiral Rachmad Jahadi, Commandant, Maritime Security Task Force of Second Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy attended the activity and led the Indonesian delegates, which is also in preparation for the future conduct of Coordinated Patrol along the common borders of the two countries in the Celebes Sea.

It can be recalled that the RP-RI Border Committee Chairmen’s Conference was held last week at the Water Front Hotel, Davao City wherein both Chairmen agreed to continuously intensify the conduct of Coordinated Patrol operations that will seek to ensure the security and maritime control in both countries’ common borders.

PRRD departs for SoKor today

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte departs Manila today to participate in the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan, Republic of Korea from 25 to 26 November 2019. 

The President will join his ASEAN counterparts and the leader of the Republic of Korea in this three-day summit to celebrate thirty years of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue relations. 

The Leaders will review ASEAN-ROK strategic partnership and chart the future direction of cooperation in pursuit of a people-centered community of peace and shared prosperity. 

With the theme, “Partnership for Peace, Prosperity for People,” the Leaders will specifically explore ways toenhance relations in the areas of trade and investment, innovation and smart city development, sustainable development, countering transboundary challenges, biodiversity, and people-to-people exchanges through cultural and academic exchanges and human resource development. 

The Leaders are also expected to discuss regional security issues and reaffirm their commitment to further strengthencooperation in maritime security and domain awareness, marine conservation, environmental protection, food and energy security, disaster management, and cybersecurity.

President Duterte will meet President Moon for the third time to take stock of PH-ROK bilateral relations as the two countries mark this year the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

This visit is the President’s second visit to the Republic of Korea upon the invitation of ROK President Moon Jae-in. END