• Davao del Norte aims for top finish in Palaro

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    DAVAO DEL NORTE intends to put its best foot forward both as host and competitor but also looks further beyond the 2015 Palarong Pambansa by assuring the sustainability of its world-standard sports infrastructure.

    “We—Davao del Norte – is part of Region 11—finished 11th two years ago and seventh last year in Laguna and as host this time around, we are eyeing to finish in the top three overall,” a jovial Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario said in his first appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.

    Although Davao del Norte has already been receiving accolades as the “Best Palaro Ever” because of its remarkable pre-games preparations before the first event is staged on Sunday at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex (DDNSTC) in Tagum City, del Rosario told the forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Accel, Shakey’s and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. that they want to guarantee that the facilities won’t turn into white elephants.

    A bill creating the Davao del Norte Sports Academy based at the DDNSTC, according to del Rosario who was accompanied in the forum by Palaro Organizing Committee Secretariat Chairperson Sofonias Gabonada Jr. and Department of Education Assistant Secretary, is already at the Senate for final approval.

    “If we are ready to host Palaro, we would also like to be ready to make the province not only as top producer of banana but also as a breeding ground of future national and world champions,” he said.

    The 2015 Palaro supported by the Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc., Damosa Land, Davao Packaging Corp., Davao International Container Terminal, Inc. (DICT) and Pearl Farm Beach Resort will run through May 9 in the province known as the Banana Capital of the Philippines.

    Umali, the DepEd’s secretary general for the Palarong Pambansa, gave his assurance about a successful hosting of the games in Davao del Norte.

    “We have to look at Davao del Norte’s track record,” Umali said. “The province has hosted the regional [Davao Region] meet for the Palaro, the Batang Pinoy, a major Azkals game and the PRISAA [Private Schools Athletic Association. So we cannot ask for more.”

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