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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, September 6, 2007
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Panaad oval up for repair

The puffy areas on the Panaad rubberized track oval will soon be a thing of the past.

Ian De Ramos, the Panaad Park and Stadium administrator, yesterday said the Provincial Government has earmarked P2.2 million for the repair of the oval, which has played host to two National Palaro meets, the now-defunct national Batang Pinoy meet, and many school-based athletic events since it opened in May 1998. The facility will be closed as soon as the repair team starts it work within the month, De Ramos said, adding that the completion of the rehabilitation is still dependent on the weather conditions.

"The rubber material also has an expiration date," he said.

"The damaged portion will be removed and replaced with new rubber. We want to finish it as soon as possible," he said.

The Panaad executive said he hopes the rehabilitation is completed in time for the Palarong Panlalawigan tentatively scheduled on the second or third week of December.

Despite the impending repairs, De Ramos said he has accommodated some districts meets to be held in the oval but cautioned officials on the damaged areas.

He said some materials, like the lining machine, for the repair have already arrived.

Aside from athletic meets, the Panaad was also the venue of the Bacolod Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony in 2005, the SEA Games football tournament, the ASEAN Football Championship, the Asian Women's Football Championship, among others.

The impending rehabilitation of the oval has forced the Negros Occidental Private School Sports Educational Association Meet from transferring the track and field events from the Panaad to the University of St. La Salle, Roger Banzuela, the NOPSSCEA sports task force chairman, said. The NOPSSCEA Meet is scheduled Sept. 23-29. *CPT

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