Luistro to open Palarong Pambansa in Dapitan Sunday
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education will emphasize values and sportsmanship and implement “zero tolerance” for corruption and cheating in this year’s national schools’ games, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said Saturday.
Luistro, who will lead Sunday’s opening ceremonies in host Dapitan City, said DepEd officials and organizers have put in place measures to prevent attempts to field unqualified athletes or to manipulate scores in this year’s Palarong Pambansa.
Such reports had marred previous games, the last in 2006, which resulted in the suspension of some participants. DepEd said teams caught cheating would lose points in their total scores or face suspension from next year’s games, Luistro said.
“Our program is to make sure that Palaro is focused on values, not just on athletes winning medals. We are focused on implementing zero tolerance for corruption and dishonesty,” Luistro said.
“We will make sure that only the best athletes participate, that no one is over-aged, no change in names. Even in the conduct of the games, we will talk to referees and game officials to ensure that the games are clean,” said Luistro in an interview before he flew to the host city Saturday.
Luistro said local organizers have also prepared security and contingency measures in case of emergency. To spare athletes from extreme summer heat, outdoor games will have breaks between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the heat is at its peak.
Luistro again called on participants and spectators to clean up after themselves during the games and avoid the use of disposable food containers like plastic and plastic foam to minimize garbage.
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