VIGAN City is ready to roll out the red carpet for the more than 15,000 delegates from the
country’s 17 regions expected to converge in the Ilocos Sur capital for this year’s hosting of the
Palarong Pambansa next month.
Department of Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali made the pronouncement on behalf of
the provincial government after personally inspecting the different venues where the various
sports events for the April 15-21 meet will be held.
“Vigan is definitely ready. The province hosted a regional qualifier of the Batang Pinoy
last year and that shows its readiness to stage such big multi-sports event such as the Palaro,”
said Umali during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant
at Farmers Market in Cubao on Tuesday.
“We had our final technical conference meeting a couple of weeks ago para tingnan sa
huling pagkakataon yung preparation ng lalawigan. And no doubt, the facilities are of
international standards. Handang-handa na sila,” said the DepEd official.
“Overall, I would say Vigan, Ilocos Sur is definitely ready.”
Umali said DepEd expects the official athlete-delegates to be at around 12,000 competing
in 21 regular sports events featured in the secondary level and 15 in the elementary side of the
event for student-athletes 18-year-old-and-below.
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).
“So we’ll have to see ano ang effect pag ibinalik ulit as Regions 6 and 7 yung Negros
Occidental and Negros Oriental,” added Umali in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa
King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
DepEd will continue to hold the demo sports of pencak silat, aero gymnastics, and dance
sports, the same thing with the special Para events in aquatics, track and field, bocce, and goal
Being summer season, Umali said the Palaro will observe the same practice of not holding
games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“All games to be held during that time are indoor events,” said the government official.
There will also be water dispensers stationed at the different sports venues for both
athletes and officials, medical ambulances, doctors, and nurses are also on standby in both the
playing court and billeting quarters, as well as police personnel.
Umali also said the host province will be providing transportation unit for those coming
from the Visayas and Mindanao regions which will carry them all the way to Vigan.