MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education has pronounced the city of Vigan ready to welcome more than 15,000 delegates from 17 regions in the 2018 edition of the Palarong Pambansa next month.
DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali personally inspected the different venues where the various sports events for the April 15-21 meet will be held.
"Vigan is definitely ready," Umali said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant at Farmers Market in Cubao on Tuesday.
"The province hosted a regional qualifier of the Batang Pinoy last year, and that shows its readiness to stage such big multi-sports events such as the Palaro," he added.
Umali said that after their final inspection during a technical conference meeting two weeks ago, it was clear that the province was well-prepared for the task at hand.
"No doubt, the facilities are of international standards," he said. "Handang-handa na sila."
DepEd expects some 12,000 athlete-delegates to compete in 21 regular sports events in the secondary level, and 15 in the elementary level.
Perennial champion National Capital Region is again favored to win the overall title this year, although Umali noted the emerging rivalry between Calabarzon/Southern Tagalog and Western Visayas regions, which engaged in a close-battle for runner-up finish in the 2017 edition of the annual event held in Antique.
In addition, Negros Island Region, which placed fourth last year, has now been made part of Regions 6 (Negros Occidental - Western Visayas) and 7 (Negros Oriental - Central Visayas).
"We'll have to see ano ang effect pag ibinalik ulit as Regions 6 and 7 'yung Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental," added Umali.
Pencak silat, aero gymnastics, and dance sports will once again be demonstration sports this year, as will aquatics, track and field, bocce, and goal ball in the Para events.
Being summer season, Umali said the Palaro will observe the same practice of not holding games from 10 a.m.
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