The Department of Education (DepEd) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the provincial government of Albay in connection with the latter’s hosting of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa in Legazpi City.
The MOA stipulates the duties and responsibilities of both parties to ensure a well-managed and professionally-run annual national multi-sporting event.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that this year’s staging of the Palaro would have many “firsts,” including the participation of the Negros Island region.
“I want to highlight that this is Albay’s first ever hosting of the Palaro. This is also the first time that 18 regions will take action — not the usual 17 regions —because of the participation of the Negros Island Region,” Luistro said.
Luistro added that this was also the first time that the Palaro would be conducted following very specific provisions of the law.
Based on Republic Act No. 10588, also known as the Palarong Pambansa Act of 2013, the elementary level would have to compete in 15 games and the secondary with 17 games and four demonstration sports, namely futsal, wushu, billiards and wrestling. In addition, four special games will also be conducted for special athletes.
Participated in by elementary and secondary students from public and private schools nationwide, the annual sporting event will be held at the Bicol University, Legazpi City from April 10 to 16, 2016.
“We are institutionalizing this sports program to ensure that we are developing athletes that are of international caliber,” Luistro stressed.
“Together with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the provincial government of Albay, DepEd will see to it that the standards are at international level and that the coaching staff, the technical officials as well as the playing venues conform to international standards,” the education chief added.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda responded by stating the province’s readiness and eagerness to host the Palaro.
“We want to show that it will be a joyful Palaro. It’s something that celebrates the spirit of national unity, especially in Albay,” said Salceda.
“Gusto naming ipakita na ang isang bayan, no matter how modest, no matter how limited its capacity, will still have the unity and ability to host the Palaro,” Salceda said, highlighting the province’s resiliency or ability to recover from adversity.