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P6.5 M budget for Isabela City contingent to ZamPen meet

SPORTS • 15:00 PM Thu Nov 28, 2019
John M. Unson
The Isabela City athletic contingent left for Dapitan City on Wednesday. (Contributed photos)

COTABATO CITY --- The Isabela City government has allocated a bigger budget for its contingent to the 2019 Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) Regional Athletic Meet.

The amount, P6.5 million, almost doubled the yearly allocations in preceding years.

Isabela City is in Basilan province that also covers Lamitan City, its capital, and 11 municipalities that are now markedly rising fast from underdevelopment due to armed conflicts.

The newcomer Isabela City mayor, Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, stated on Facebook Thursday that they have earmarked P6.5 million for the travel, food and other incidental expenses of their athletes joining next week's ZamPen meet in Dipolog City.

The group sailed on Wednesday for Zamboanga City en route to Dapitan City.

Senior staffers of the Isabela City local government unit and officials of the city schools division said their budget for the yearly activity prior to the election last May 2019 of their new mayor and vice-mayor, Kifli Salliman, also a first termer, was only from between P3 to 4.5 million annually.

Isabela City’s athletic group only had a P5 million allocation for 2019 from its Special Education Fund. The mayor’s office, however, immediately, augmented the amount with P1.5 million from its coffer.

“We invest in our children, we invest in our youth,” Turabin-Hataman said, referring to her administration’s support to the athletes sent to Dipolog City for the regional athletic meet.

The city’s delegation to the regional meet is comprised of 807 athletes, coaches and senior representatives from the city schools division

The mayor said 397 are to participate in academic competitions.

“We are happy to announce that we have included in the budget the transportation and food expenses of our delegates to the academic competitions that, in previous years, were shouldered by their parents,” Turabin-Hataman said.

The new city administration had also set a historic precedent --- something never experienced before by Isabela City residents --- by organizing a rousing seaport sendoff rite for local athletes as they left for Dapitan City.

Athletes and education officials accompanying them were quick to acknowledge their city government’s gesture on their Facebook walls. 

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