Early candidate for Cebu City mayor bats for barangay-based sports program

EARLY BIRD. Yogi Ruiz, the first to announce his candidacy for Cebu City mayor, has already shown he has an advantage over the incumbent–he doesn’t speak in riddles.

Yogi Ruiz, the former Bureau of Customs commissioner who surprised local politics by becoming the first to announce his plans to run for Cebu City mayor in next year’s polls is trying to woe voters this early with a barangay-based grassroots sports program.

I don’t know him from Adam, but to be honest, based on his straightforward and clear cut answers during the press conference when he met sports reporters, he already has an advantage over the incumbent, who’s known for his love of circutious paragraphs instead of a simple “yes.”

Mr Ruiz, who rose from the ranks and has done menial jobs, isn’t big on dramatics.

“Sports is an integral element of life that has so many benefits. Apart from nurturing a healthy lifestyle, it also provides job opportunities,” he said.

That’s a practical way of looking at things, a point-of-view often ignored by politicians who profess their love of sports come election time.

LGU-organized tournaments are a welcome economic boost not only to referees and uniform makers but also to those who sell their wares in venues.

LGU-organized grassroots programs, on the other hand, have both short and long term economic impact, to the coaches who get employed and to the athletes who’d potentially earn scholarships, thanks to the grassroots program.

For me, LGU grassroots programs shouldn’t be about finding the next big star but giving kids a better chance of winning sports scholarships.

And it seems Ruiz shares the same point of view.

As a concerned citizen of the community and an avid sportsman myself, I am here to promote a genuine sports advocacy program for the Cebuanos. I am a believer of sports being a vital part of nation-building because sports are the best way to promote teamwork, humanity, brotherhood, and leadership qualities among others,” said Ruiz.

Of course, we all know Ruiz is using sports to push his name forward in the electoral race. But this early, and I tell you, it’s a sentiment shared by many in the media industry, if no one else but the incumbent runs, we’d be picking Ruiz.

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