LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, May 7 (PIA) — President Benigno Aquino III today lauded athletes and organizers for their hard work that made the Palarong Pambansa 2012 a resounding success.
“Namuhunan kayo ng tiis at panahon at nagsakripisyo para marating ang kinaroroonan niyo ngayon,” (You have invested patience and time and sacrificed much to reach your positions now),” said Aquino in his speech as guest of honor at the event held at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center.
He revealed that the national government through the Department of Education (Deped) allotted P200 million fund for the Palarong Pambansa to ensure that athletes are properly provided with their needs and that the entire event would go on smoothly.
The 2011-2016 Philippine Road Map of the Philippine Sports Commission, he said, is also in placed and one of its feature is the Focused Sports Policy where several sports events will be given utmost priority, to include boxing, taekwondo, athletic, swimming, archery, bowling, weightlifting and billiards.
Almost P200 million or 33 percent of the annual remittance under the Sports Development Fund will be allotted for the improvement of sports in the country, he added.
Aside from the Palarong Pambansa, the government has started the Batang Pinoy program in 2011 which centers on honing the sports talent of the youth.
The President said the government will not end its focus on the youth but will also shower its resources on sports development for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and inmates.
At least P5 million pesos was allotted for PWDs and some 8,000 inmates from all over the country were given fitness regimen to care for their health.
Aquino also told the more than 30,000 crowd in attendance that the Palaro is not the end of the competition as they will encounter more hardships and trials as life goes on. He exhorted the athletes to continue dreaming and reaching their goals.
“Ituloy lang ang sikap, disiplina at sakripisyo at tiyak sa mas malaking entablado kayo pararangalan,”(Just continue with perseverance, discipline and sacrifices and for sure, you will be awarded in a much bigger stage) he said.
Sharing the main stage with the President during the opening program for the Palaro were former President Fidel Ramos, Secretaries Armin Luistro of DepEd, Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Joel Villanueva of TESDA, Gov. Amado Espino, Jr of Pangasinan Mayor Patri Chan of Dapitan City in her capacity as last year’s Palaro host.
For more than six decades now, the Palarong Pambansa has served as a training ground for young athletes to hone their talents and prepare them for local and international events. It is also where the country planted the seeds of excellence of sports legends Lydia de Vega, Elma Muros for athletics, Danny Ildefons and Marlou Aquino for basketball, Susan Papa and Eric Buhain for swimming and Chiffy Caligdong and Christopher Camcam for football. (ANL/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan)