"Expect a clean and green 2012 Palarong Pambansa!" This is the pronouncement of Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, FSC during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the department and this year’s host the provincial government of Pangasinan represented by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.
Luistro said the department will seriously pursue the campaign to make the Palaro an environment-friendly event by requiring food caterers to dispense with plastic and styrofor in the preparation of meals. “We started this in Dipolog, Zamboanga last year, we will do it better this year,” said Luistro.
On another clean aspect, Luistro announced that the DepEd will ensure that athlete screening and games officiating will be clean and fair to all in keeping with the true spirit of the sporting event.
“The Palaro is a venue for values formation among our youth, this is where positive Filipino values should apply,” he explained.
Luistro added that the Palaro should not be made a once-a- year event but a continuing activity to really develop the athletic prowess and sportsmanship of the young. Likewise, the games venue should not be so constructed as to last for just a year. “It should be made to last for years so that many athletes can use it for a continuous sports program."
The 2012 Palarong Pambansa is set from May 6 to 12, 2012 to be participated in by elementary and secondary students from public and private schools.
As stipulated in DepEd Memo No. 22 series of 2012, this year’s host of the annual national sporting event is the provincial government of Pangasinan and DepEd Regional Office 1 assisted by the schools division office of Pangasinan and the city schools division offices of San Carlos City and Dagupan City.
Luistro describes the Palaro as an important component of the basic education curriculum because it promotes physical education and sports which are part of the full development of the youth’s potential. “When we say total human development, we mean to develop persons who are physically fit, socially responsible and globally competitive,” he said.
DepEd has allocated some P136.5 million for this year’s Palaro. Most of the events will be played at the Narciso Ramos Sports Center in Lingayen while the rest will be in the cities of San Carlos and Dagupan and the towns of Bugallon and Binmaley. Some 10,000 athletes, coaches and sports officials from the country’s 17 regions are expected to participate in the country’s biggest sports spectacle.
Student –athletes who stand out from the Palaro serve as feeder to the National Sports Associations for further training for international competitions. “In a way, the results of the Palaro provide a database for a more sound and relevant school development program,” added Luistro.
The sporting events are athletics, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics (women’s artistic gymnastics, men’s artistic gymnastic and rhythmic gymnastics), sipa takraw, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and volleyball.
For the differently-abled, there is goalball, aquatics, bocce, long jump, shot put and 100, 200 and 400 meter dash.