Tight security in place for Dapitan Palaro

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/5 May) – If you are going to Dapitan City for the 2011 Palarong Pambansa, prepare for tightened security.

The city government of Dapitan has intensified its security and safety measures for the week-long competition which unfolds on May 8 to 14.

In his statement posted at the official website of Dapitan City, Supt. Neil B. Alinsangan, Dapitan City PNP officer-in-charge, said more than 350 officers, both uniformed and plainclothes policemen, will be deployed in various key establishments and areas around the city to ensure the peaceful and successful conduct of the country’s biggest sporting event for elementary and secondary student athletes.

He added that personnel from the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Public Safety Company, Dipolog City police station and 25 municipal police stations in the province will be assigned to safeguard the billeting quarters and playing venues of the event.

“All security and safety measures shall be strictly implemented to prevent and eradicate acts of terrorism for the whole duration of the nationwide sports event,” Alinsangan said.

A few weeks ago the Palarong Pambansa 2011 executive committee chair, former Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos, declared that Dapitan City is ready to host the multi-sports event and assured that security, road traffic mobility and other concerns have been properly planned.

“We are ready to receive them in Dapitan,” said Jalosjos, referring to the more than 11,000 student athletes, coaches and officials from the country’s 17 regions.

Recently, Palarong Pambansa venue coordinator Eugenio Penales reported the completion of the grandstand, the swimming pool and renovations in the 10-hectare Jose Rizal Memorial State University athletic complex, main venue of the games.

In a press statement, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that it is all set for the 2011 Palarong Pambansa.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro emphasized that the Palaro will be run based on Filipino core values such as honesty and fair play.

Luistro hopes that despite the big number of people attending the national sports event, garbage problem could be minimized.

He likewise expects that there will be either none or limited use of plastic and styrofoam, urging students to bring their own utensils and reusable plastic containers for food.

“All participants are urged to adhere to the clean, green and eco-friendly measures that DepEd intends to implement during the conduct of the 2011 Palarong Pambansa to ensure the protection of public health and environment,” he said.

As part of its preparation for the Palaro, the Dapitan City council enacted a comprehensive solid waste management ordinance last February.

Based on the newly implemented ordinance, throwing or depositing of litter in public places in Dapitan is strictly prohibited. It adopts the ecological solid waste management program of the city, pursuant to Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), and includes the corresponding fines and penalties for individuals found to be violating the ordinance.

Vice President Jejomar Binay will grace the opening ceremonies of this year’s Palaro while President Benigno Aquino III will attend the closing rites on May 14.

Around 15 sports disciplines will be contested in the week-long competition that include medal-rich swimming and track and field. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)