NBA
PSC set to revive National Games
() - June 8, 2006 - 12:00am
After being shelved for almost a decade, the Philippine National Games will make its formal return next year, and not this November as earlier planned.

The Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Interior and Local Government agreed to jointly organize the multi-sports event that pits current members of the national team against the country’s upcoming stars.

"We really need the PNG because it’s one event where we can discover new talents," said PSC chair William "Butch" Ramirez before leaving for Munich, Germany to attend the FIFA world football congress.

"It would also save the NSAs some money if we hold their respective National Open in one event because funds are really scarce nowadays," he added.

The target date of the PNG is middle of next year, or months after the Palarong Pambansa, an annual meet for elementary and high school student athletes held every summer.

It can be recalled that the PNG was launched early this year along with the Palarong Pambansa and the Private School Athletic Association (PRISAA) as part of the sports agency’s National Unified Sports Program.

A project conceptualized by former sports commissioner and Philippine Olympic Committee president Celso Dayrit, the PNG was scrapped in 1998 due to lack of funds.

In the same year, it was replaced by the LGU Olympics that was organized by the DILG and held in Iloilo City with Laguna emerging as overall champion.

Unlike the PNG that was staged three times, the LGU Olympics lasted only one season.

"It’s a good program, it should really be revived," said Dayrit, who also heads the national fencing association. - Joey Villar

"We should let our local government units help the PSC and NSAs (national sports associations) in developing their own sports programs," he added.

"The DILG has all the funds and manpower to hold municipal, provincial and regional sports meets while the PSC has the technical knowledge in hosting one," said Ramirez.

Ramirez added that he already sat down with DILG Secretary Ricardo Puno and discuss the possibility of setting new age eligibility rules as part of the PSC’s thrust in discovering promising new talents.

The PSC wants participants to be at age bracket of 18-35 years old.

The first PNG was held in 1994 in Manila, the second two years after in the same venue and the last in 1997 in Cebu City.

CEBU CITY CELSO DAYRIT ILOILO CITY JOEY VILLAR NATIONAL OPEN NATIONAL UNIFIED SPORTS PROGRAM PALARONG PAMBANSA PALARONG PAMBANSA AND THE PRIVATE SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION RAMIREZ SPORTS
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