Duterte attends Palarong Pambansa 2017 opening
ANTIQUE, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will be attending the opening ceremonies of the 60th Palarong Pambansa on Sunday, April 23, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced Friday, April 21.
“Yung pagdating ng ating pangulo ay makasaysayan. I’m almost certain that President Duterte is the first president na pagkaupo po niya, sa unang taon niya ng Palarong Pambansa ay dadalawin na niya agad,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said.
(The arrival of our president is truly historic. I’m almost certain that President Duterte is the first president that, in his first year in office, is already going to the Palarong Pambansa.)
The president, however, will not be officially opening the games. He will only stay at the Biniyaran Sports Complex in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique until 5PM due to logistical and security considerations.
Umali added that the president’s continued commitment to sports is a positive step in Filipino youth empowerment.
“In relation to what our President Digong always wanted, ito yung gusto kong sabihin, we also wanted sports to be an effective tool para mahikayat ang mga bata bumalik sa ating paaralan. Kung hindi po, wag na pong gumamit itong pinagbabawal gamot o yung droga.”
(In relation to what our President always wanted, we always want sports to be an effective tool to encourage kids to go back to school and not get hooked on illegal drugs.)
The opening ceremonies will feature cultural presentations and stunts expected to wow the anticipated audience of 15,000 locals and guests. The Philippine Air Force will do a fly-by and sky dive exhibition during the event.
Joining Duterte is Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Senator Loren Legarda. Members of the Philippine Sports Commission board and Philippine Olympic Committee Chair Peping Cojuangco will also be present.
Track and field legend Elma Muros, who will be awarded the first-ever Palarong Pambansa Lifetime Achievement Award, will join the VIPs.
Palarong Pambansa is the largest grassroots sporting event in the Philippines that aims to develop the potentials of the youth to become responsible and globally-competitive citizens.
Since they were confirmed as hosts, Antique has focused on building infrastructure that are up to international standards. Included in these are a swimming pool that boasts the first “no-wave” technology in the country, and a rubberized track oval in the middle of a transformed Biniyaran Sports Complex.
“Ang DepEd po, may senior high school program na, ang K-12. Makikita po ninyo ang ating commitment to sports. Sports is one of the tracks in the K-12 program,” Umali said.
(DepEd has the senior high school program, K-12. That shows our commitment to sports.)
Aside from adding a sports program as one of the choices for senior high school students, young Filipino athletes can now see a clearer path that ends in international glory. Officials pointed out that investing in these facilities is part of a bigger plan that will hopefully lead to an Olympic Gold Medal for the country in the long run. – Rappler.com
Rappler intern Brent Guiao is a 2nd year BS Business Management student from De La Salle University.