THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC)-Gawad Kalinga (GK) San Agustin Activity Center was turned over to the Gawad Kalinga community in the town of Palo, Leyte during a colorful and enthusiastic ceremony by the POC represented by International Olympic Committee (IOC) Representative Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski last October 17.
This is the first of four planned activity centers that will be put up in locations badly affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The other locations that will receive activity centers are Albuera, Alangalang, and Tanauan, Leyte.
The POC partnered with GK because the latter already had projects and activities, and personnel in the area and likewise because the POC endeavors to support community driven projects with no interference with government. The NGO also provided the engineering and construction expertise to build the center. The facilities will be managed and operated by GK.
A happy Project Engineer Edito Mulig of the GK Engineering group said, “We are happy we have turned over one center and we look forward to undertaking the three other centers.”
A total of US$450,000 were donated by IOC, Olympic Solidarity, and the Olympic Council of Asia to build these centers. The generous gesture was their response to respond to and ease the plight of victims of the typhoon stricken areas.
These multi-purpose facilities can host sporting events like basketball, volleyball, futsal, badminton, and sepak takraw and can also accommodate social and civic events, as well as, serve as a relief/distribution center during calamities. POC Chairman Tomas Carrasco Jr. and POC Executive Assistant Gina Calaguas were also present during the said event. Sports equipment such as badminton racquets, volleyballs, and basketballs were also donated to the community to initiate sports activity.
The ceremony was well attended by the town folk as they eagerly await the chance to use the centers.