The Department of Education (DepEd) and the provincial government of Albay are all set for the 59th Palarong Pambansa at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex in Legaspi City, Albay on April 10 to 16, 2016.
This is the first time that Albay will host the week-long event that brings together the country’s most promising student-athletes.
With the theme: “Transforming Communities, Transcending Through K to 12,” DepEd aims to promote physical education and sports as an integral part of the Basic Education for holistic development of the youth to become responsible and globally competitive citizens of the country.
“It is necessary that sports be an integral part of education, more than that I believe that it is part of a solidifying spirit for our communities because it’s something that can bind us together by promoting a value system that essentially allows us to foster camaraderie among regions,” said Albay Governor Joey Salceda.
The Palarong Pambansa is participated by elementary and secondary students from public and private schools nationwide.
This year, 18 regions are set to compete, with the participation of the recently-established Negros Island Region (NIR). The elementary level will compete in 15 games and the secondary will compete in 17 games and four demonstration sports: Futsal, Wushu, Billiards and Wrestling. This year’s Palaro will determine if these four demo sports will be included as regular games in the next Palaro.
Palarong Pambansa is also aimed to widen the base for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure of elementary and secondary students to serve as athletes’ roster to the National Sports Associations for international sports competitions. In 2013, the government institutionalized this national sporting event through the Republic Act 10588 or the Palarong Pambansa Law.
“We are institutionalizing this sports program to ensure that we are developing athletes that are of international caliber. Together with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Provincial Government of Albay, the Department 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,” Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro FSC said.
One of the highlights of the Palaro is the special games for children with special needs. These include athletics, swimming, goal ball, and Bocce – a ball sport closely related to bowling. Athletes with special needs are given the chance to be scouted and compete in the games of the Palaro.
DepEd and the local government of Albay shall implement an environment-friendly and organized Palarong Pambansa 2016. (Joel C. Atencio)