Malaybalay City regulates fun runs

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/20 October) – The city government here, invoking public safety, has decided to regulate fun runs, trail runs and other similar activities, a sporting event that has gained popularity among residents here and in many parts of the country.

In an executive order signed this week, Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri has required organizers of running events in the city to obtain a permit from his office to “guarantee the safety of all the participants, motorists, pedestrians, motorists, pedestrians.”

The mayor noted the need to regulate because the races use city streets and other areas within its jurisdiction.

Zubiri invoked Local government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160) which he said “expressly empowers the City Mayor to require and issue permits for the holding of activities for charitable and welfare purpose.”

The order also cover the submission, at least 15 days before the scheduled activity, of documentary requirements, including application letter, proposed schedule of activity, an undertaking that medical and emergency personnel will be present in the activity, and a copy of the agreement between sponsoring organization and the beneficiary organization in case the races were held for charitable or social welfare purposes.

Zubiri designated the city’s sports coordinator, Niko Aldeguer, to implement and monitor the order.

Aldeguer announced the mayor’s new order in a meeting with Malaybalay’s race organizers Thursday at the City People’s Hall attended by seven organizers of fun runs and other races.

Aldeguer said they wanted to make sure the fun runs do not overlap in schedule, which caused a concern among the city’s emergency and medical staff because they are usually called to be present in those races.

He said the city’s emergency response unit is a front line group, which should be put on standby in case of medical emergencies. If the races overlap or are too frequent, he added, it might, spread the energy of the team too thinly.

He cited a recent situation where the city’s emergency unit had to move from one event to another in one day because of the lack of coordination among events organizers.

Aldeguer cited that the races are welcome in the city but it is no longer healthy if they are too clogged in certain schedules. The city government, Aldeguer said, has encouraged only one race per day for the weekend so races “will be better appreciated and participated.” They have required organizers to book with the office of the City Sports Coordinator and to submit the documentary requirements. Booking, Aldeguer said, will be on “first to complete requirements basis.”

He added that those races organized for a cause may have to show proof that indeed their proceeds go to the intended beneficiaries. Otherwise, he added, it might be covered among those taxable endeavors.

Rommel Abao, representing High Torque Bikers and Origen, among the race organizers present in the meeting, welcomed the regulation.

He said the move can make local races more organized and systematic.

He clarified that prior to the issuance of the executive order, Aldeguer’s office met with the organizers twice to consult them about the city’s decision to regulate. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)