DepEd assures safety of Palaro bets
(The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The safety and security of the athletes will be the priority of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Antique when the province hosts the 60th edition of the Palarong Pambansa from April 23 to 29.

The DepEd gave the assurance during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel, where he appeared  with Cesar Abalon, head of the School Sports Division of DEpEd.

Umali said their department and the host province of Antique will be beefing up the games’ security in coordination with the police, armed forces and other concerned agencies.

An estimated 12,000 athletes  from the 18 regions of the country will be headed to Antique for the annual sports conclave.

“Safety and security are the top concern of the authorities, host province Antique and our Secretary (education) Leonor Briones,” said Umali, also the Palaro secretary general, in the weekly public sports forum backed by San Miguel Corp., Golden Phoenix Hotel, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Accel.

Umali emphasized that security personnel will be deployed to all of Antique’s ports of entry (air, land and sea) and strategic areas in the province. Uniformed men and women will be on board for each delegation transport vehicle. Police escorts will also be provided to the delegates and VIPs.

Umali said a team of medical paramedics will also be stationed in strategic areas.

To avoid injuries due to the summer heat, the education department, with proper consultation with the department of health, science and technology, is also planning to have a break in hostilities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are seriously studying the possibility of temporarily stopping all field events during those periods,” said Umali, who added that playing venues are compliant with international standards.

In fact, he said the DepEd central office has allotted an additional P30 million for the rehabilitation of some venues, aside from the P40 million appropriated by host Antique, and the P10 million financial aid from Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Annually, Congress appropriates P350 million for DepEd in holding school-based sports competitions that include division, regional meets and the Palaro.

Abalon said four sports – wushu, billiard, wrestling and futsal – which were previously held as demo sports, will finally be added as regular sports.

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