But the banners triggered confusion as Education secretary Jesli Lapus on Sunday announced that the Palarong Pambansa will go back to Luzon in 2010 and that the province of Tarlac is bidding to host the games.
In a press conference at The Legend Palawan Hotel, Lapus explained the Luzon – Visayas – Luzon – Mindanao hosting rotation of the biggest national athletic competition for elementary and secondary students.
Based on the hosting rotation process, it would be Luzon’s schedule to host the games in 2010 and the games will go to Mindanao the following year.
“If the rules will be changed, it always puts us in danger. We should go by the rules,” said Lapus, a former three-term congressman of the 3rd district of Tarlac. He was born in Tarlac, Tarlac.
Western Visayas, in particular the province of Capiz, is bidding to host the Palaro next year, the secretary said.
Numerous banners that served as an invitation to the possible holding of the games in Capiz have been displayed here.
Naga City hosted the games in 2006, Ilo-ilo City in 2005 and Lanao Del Norte in 2004.
Last year, Koronadal City , South Cotabato hosted the games where the National Capital Region stamped its class to capture the overall crown.
Davao Del Norte wanted to host the games two years from now as the programmed reconstruction of its burned old sports complex into a spanking new state-of-the-art facility will be completed next year or early in 2010.
A few months following his election last year, Gov. Del Rosario made three major steps geared towards the goal of hosting the 2010 Palaro.
DepEd Undersecretary Ramon Bacani said the primary requirement in hosting the Palarong Pambansa is an existing sports complex.
“Over the years, that has been the basis, “said Bacani who is in-charge of the department’s regional operations.
He added Del Rosario's son and provincial sports coordinator Anthony Del Rosario told him that the province, which has three component cities, is constructing a sports complex.
Puerto Princesa City’s local government unit and residents are cashing in on the Palaro hoopla while showcasing to the world its brand positioning as a thriving sports and ecotourism destination.
“The support system required for the Palaro is massive and we congratulate Mayor (Edward) Hagedorn for a wonderful support he gave to the games,” said Lapus.
In the last two to three weeks, the city tourism office recorded some 10,000 to 18,000 athletes, coaches, officials, parents and tourists that have come to witness the games.
“This translates to increased business for local entrepreneurs, as we have an opportunity for local urban centers to put their best foot forward for investors as well as visiting tourist,” Lapus said. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)