DOT-XII steps up preparations for world paragliding cup

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 February) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Region 12 has stepped up their preparations for the first leg of the 2015 Paragliding Accuracy World Cup (PGAWC) that will be hosted next month by Sarangani Province.

Nelly Nita Dillera, DOT Region 12 director, said Monday they have signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) with three local government units and a tourism group to assist in the preparations for the hosting of the event, which is slated on March 27 to 29 in Barangay Siguel in Maasim, Sarangani.

She said they specifically signed the MOU with the local governments of this city, Sarangani and Maasim own as well as the Wow GenSan Association of Travel Agencies.

The agreements were jointly forged by DOT-12 and the Air Sports Adventure of the Philippines (ASAP), which are the co-presenters of the PGAWC.

“We formally partnered with them to facilitate the convergence of efforts on the ground from the preparation stage to the actual hosting of the paragliding world cup,” she said.

Under the agreement, Dillera said the four entities signed up for specific roles in the preparation of the event, especially in term of addressing the anticipated needs and demands of the stakeholders.

She said their partners were tasked to facilitate or assist in the provision of cultural presentations, lights and sounds, prizes, manpower, transportation, food and other logistical needs of the event.

The four entities will also help raise and cover for the projected expenses of the event, which has an overall budget of around P3 million, she said.

Dillera said they pushed for the convergence of initiatives for the hosting of the event to ensure that it will not just highlight the region and the sport but should empower the community as well and give them the opportunity “to work together as one.”

To ensure success of the event, she said they deemed the collaboration with their partners and other concerned agencies as necessary and important in building up the credibility of the region in terms of hosting a world-class event.

“This event is not about us. This is about our partners and local stakeholders. They are the focus here,” she stressed.

Around 200 top paragliding pilots and crew from 15 countries are expected to join the first leg of the 2015 PGAWC.

Sarangani Province, which hosted the 1st International Paragliding Competition in August last year, earlier bagged the hosting of the event through a bid submitted by the ASAP.

The event, which drew 40 pilots from 13 countries, was accredited by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale or the World Air Sports Federation and given a pre-world cup status.

The paragliding site in Maasim town is within the mountain ranch of San Andres Fishing Industry, Inc. in Barangay Siguel, which boasts of a grand view of the Sarangani Bay for pilots as they glide down to the landing site about 700 meters below.

The 2015 PGAWC tour will comprise six legs or series, with the country hosting the first leg, organizers noted in its website.

Malaysia will host the second leg on May 1 to 3, Serbia for the third on June 5 to 7, Germany for the fourth on Sept. 25 to 27, China for the fifth on Oct. 23 to 25 and Bulgaria for the sixth and final leg on Nov. 20 to 22. (MindaNews)