DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 September) – Davao del Norte intends to host the Palarong Pambansa next year with the expected completion of its multi-million sports complex project in December, Gov. Rodolfo Del Rosario on Tuesday announced.
In an interview after the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) board meeting, Del Rosario said the P242-million state-of-the-art sports complex will be turned over to the provincial government on December 12.
“Our next move is to host the Palarong Pambansa,” he said after the DAVRAA board declared Davao del Norte as the host of the regional games in February during its meeting at the Department of Education (DepEd) Region XI office.
Mati City in Davao Oriental also bid for the hosting of the DAVRAA games but Mayor Michelle Rabat later conceded to Davao del Norte.
Del Rosario said the provincial government has planned of hosting the country’s biggest multi-sports event for elementary and secondary students “a long time ago.”
He said hosting the Palaro is one of the top priorities of his administration as “we have to utilize the existence of our sports complex”
“That is one of my priority projects now. Hopefully, we can make it before the end of my second term,” he said.
A letter of intent to host the games will be sent to DepEd Central Office, according to Giovanni Gulanes, Davao del Norte sports coordinator.
“We will try our best to win the hosting and we can assure you that we are ready to host the Palarong Pambansa,” said Gulanes, who accompanied Del Rosario to the DAVRAA meeting.
However, Negros Occidental is bidding to host next year’s national games with Bacolod City as co-host. Evaluators from the DepEd Central Office reportedly arrived in Negros Occidental yesterday to inspect the playing venues of the province.
Negros Oriental along with Dumaguete City is also vying for the right to host the Palaro.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon declared his province is all ready to host the games.
Besides, the hosting of the Palaro has traditionally followed the Luzon-Visayas-Luzon-Mindanao order.
This year’s host was Lingayen, Pangasinan. Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte hosted the games last year.
“If we follow the pattern, the nearest we can host is the 2015 edition of the games,” said Gulanes.
Davao del Norte won the bid to host the Palarong Pambansa in 1992, but the hosting right was later cancelled due to the limited number of hotels and lodging houses in the province.
“But Tagum City (the provincial capital) and the province of Davao del Norte is very much different now,” Gulanes said.
Meanwhile, according to its official newsletter, the city government of Koronadal has manifested its intention to bid for the hosting of the 2015 Palaro.
The newsletter quoted Mayor Peter Miguel as saying he had already submitted to the DepEd his Letter of Intent when he attended the Palaro in Lingayen.
The city needs an ambitious activity like this as a way of promoting the City of Koronadal itself and the province of South Cotabato as a whole, according to the mayor. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)