MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) assured that the athletes participating in this year’s Palarong Pambansa will undergo a stringent screening process.
The screening, which began on April 28, is being conducted by the National Screening and Accreditation Committee (NSAC).
"We are strictly following the rules and guidelines for the screening and accreditation to make sure that the Palaro will be free from any controversy," DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, who is also secretary general of 2012 Palaro, said in a statement.
The committee is composed of 25 members, eight of which come from the DepEd Central Office, and one authorized representative each from 17 participating regions.
The NSAC will evaluate and verify the authenticity of the documents of athletes, coaches and chaperons as soon as the regional delegations are on their respective billeting quarters.
To qualify for the Palarong Pambansa, athletes must be Filipino citizens, elementary or secondary from public or private schools who have participated in division and regional meets.
As a general rule, elementary athletes shall play in the elementary division while secondary athletes shall play in the secondary division.
Athletes who have been declared overage will not be allowed to play in the competition.
However, elementary athletes who have been declared overage in elementary level may be allowed to play in secondary level.
Acquiring failing grades in more than two core subjects in the second grading period is also a ground for disqualification.
Athletes who are past or current members of the national team, national training pool and/or development pool, receiving monthly stipend from the Philippine Sports Commission or those who have played in SEA Games, Asian Games and/or Olympic Games, will not be allowed to compete.
The NSAC shall consider replacements for disqualified athletes during the period of screening.
The screening and accreditation will end on May 3.