MANILA -- Ilocos Sur will host next year's Palarong Pambansa, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced Saturday.
In a press statement, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said that after assessing the capability of the bidders of the national tournament, Ilocos Sur emerged as the winner, besting Marikina City, Baguio City, Benguet, Bulacan and Ilagan City, Isabela.
The bidders were assessed based on their readiness and the completeness of their sports facilities, as well as the compliance of these facilities to international standards; the distance of the venues from the billeting quarters; peace and order in the area; and the support of other local government units (LGUs) and stakeholders in the locality.
“We had a group of technical inspectors who visited these LGUs and talagang they scored almost the same. But the province of Ilocos Sur championed the bidding because of its offering on how to make the conduct of the Palaro different for next year,” Briones said.
Meanwhile, DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legislative Liaison Office, External Partnerships Service, and School Sports Division Tonisito Umali noted that Ilocos Sur was able to explain how the conduct of the Palaro in their province would have an impact, not only on their people but on all student-athletes as well.
“Since Ilocos Sur will have its 100th year celebration as a province, its LGUs will have a lot of special events, which our delegates may be able to witness… In the past hosting of Palaro na walang ganitong kasabay na malaking (which did not coincide with any big) celebration, maaaring maging kakaiba ang 2018 Palaro (the 2018 Palaro could be different)," said Umali.
“They will also give our student-athletes a chance to tour Ilocos Sur, Vigan, for example. Mahalaga ring makita ng mga bata kung gaano kayaman ang ating kultura (It is important for our youth to see how rich our culture is),” he added.
The Palarong Pambansa is recognized as the country's premier national sports competition under Republic Act No. 10588. (PNA)