Department of Education officials met in Laguna last Wednesday to finalize details of the 2014 Palarong Pambansa (National Games) to be held May 4 – 10 in Sta Cruz, Laguna. Among the items discussed are logistical requirements for regional delegates such as food and billeting quarters.
“I am reminding everyone to be sensitive to cultural and religious needs as this is a national event,” Education Secretary Br Armin Luistro FSC said. “Halal food, for example, must be made available to those who require it.
The Palaro will be participated in by almost 10,000 athletes from 17 regions, who will stay in Laguna for around one week. The student athletes will be billeted in public schools near the venue, which were inspected Wednesday by the directors and sports coordinators of each region. The schools will be upgraded with the help of the host local government unit (LGU).
“The usual improvements that our schools undergo for Palaro are the installation of screens in classroom windows as well as a renovation of the bathroom facilities,” Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, Palarong Pambansa Secretary General, explained. “For schools in the host province, this is a quick ‘Brigada Eskwela’ that results in an upgrade of their physical facilities.”
Meanwhile, Br. Luistro reminded coaches and chaperones about the DepEd’s Child Protection Policy: “From the time they leave your province, through Palaro, and until they return they are under our care. Make sure that an adult is always present to supervise them,” adding that any decision regional officials make must take into consideration the welfare of the students, especially the younger ones.
The DepEd Secretary also asked everyone to continue the “Clean as you go” and garbage segregation policy for delegates. “Leave the host school cleaner than when you arrived.”
Palarong Pambansa is an annual event showcasing and promoting sportsmanship of Filipino learners. In May 2013, President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act No. 10588 or Palarong Pambansa Law institutionalizing the said event. This year’s Palaro is the first Palarong Pambansa under RA 10588.