Palarong Pambansa all set in Antique this April
The Department of Education on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement for the upcoming Palarong Pambansa 2017 this April 23 to 29 in San Jose, Antique province.
Around 12,000 delegates—7,000 of which are athletes; some are coaches from the country’s 18 regions— are expected to join the 60th Palarong Pambansa dubbed “2017 Palarong Pambansa: Converges Youth
Power, Builds Sustainable Future,” said Education secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones in a press conference held Thursday at the Deped main office in Pasig.
With her as witnesses were Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao and Vice Governor Edgar Denosta, and Philippine Sports Commissioner Celia Kiram.
“We are very happy that our small province has been chosen to host the Palarong Pambansa. This is a boost to our tourism, and an inspiration to our student athletes to do better,” Cadiao said.
Cadiao boasted of their big Antique sports complex and noted that they have modernized their now rubberized oval track and constructed more tennis courts and bleachers.
The newly confirmed education secretary Briones said she hopes that more students will consider the athletics track through the Palarong Pambansa.
“The sports track is also as profitable and as satisfying as the other tracks. Think Senator Manny Pacquiao. Most of the students, however, consider the academics track (60 percent), and only a few chose the athletics track,” she added.
Lawyer Tonisito Umali, education assistant secretary and Palarong Pambansa secretary-general said this year’s Palarong Pambansa would be the best and brightest.
Umali said this would be the first time that aerogymnastics and demo sports– such as wushu, wrestling, futsal and billiards—would be part of the medal tally that would determine the overall winner. The usual
3-hour parade of delegates would be cut down to an hour, he added.
A special award to honor an athlete is also set this April. Meanwhile, winners of the national press conferences would also be utilized to cover the Palarong Pambansa, Umali said.
Umali said they have already coordinated with the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the security of the students and all delegates.
The Palarong Pambansa, then called Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association, was first held in Manila in 1948. Through RA 10588 or the Palarong Pambansa Act of 2013, the DepEd is mandated to promote physical education and encourage sports programs to foster self-discipline, teamwork and
excellence through the conduct of annual Palarong Pambansa; as well as the coordination of various local government units.
Kiram said she was very happy that a far-flung province such as Antique would host this year’s Palarong Pambansa, and even hoped the likes of Elma Muros-Posadas or Lydia de Vega would be discovered soon.
Bringing sports to distant areas is a mandate of President Duterte, she added.
Briones, whose roots were from Barbaza, Antique, said the DepEd has allotted as budget around P300 million for the event to be downloaded to regions and divisions. P30 million of those will go to repairs of billeting areas for the delegates. The Philippine Sports Commission and the office of Senator Loren Legarda, has also allotted P10 million.
Misamis Oriental and Negros Occidental hosted the Palarong Pambansa four times. Meanwhile, Pangasinan hosted the event three times. The Deped announced Antique as the host of the Palarong Pambansa last Nov.18.
The Deped will be flying to Antique this March 23 to start the preparations.
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