THE die is cast. Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario may now heave a sigh of relief as the province won the right to host the 2015 Palarong Pambansa on May 3 to 9.
“Davao del Norte got 16 out of 18 votes in the secret balloting during the final bidding held at the Department of Education (DepEd) central office in Pasig City. No less than Deped secretary Armin Luistro presided over the voting,” said Davao del Norte sports coordinator Giovanni Gulanes.
Gulanes said only 12 of the 17 Deped regional directors were allowed to vote as the five others represented the regions that also bid for the hosting—Davao Region, South Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Norte and Butuan with Surigao. The remaining six votes came from the Philippine Sports Commission and representatives of DepEd main office, among others, according to Gulanes.
“The visits, which occurred during the last few months, mainly assessed the billeting sites and playing venues among other things.
Gulanes quoted Luistro in saying that Davao del Norte has the facilities and only need some fine-tuning.
Gov. Del Rosario also said in a statment: “We assure them that we would give them the best Palaro, and that would be our battle cry: the best Palaro ever.”
Gulanes, for his part, cited “water, security and political environment” as other considerations aside from ready sporting facilities and billeting quarters that will cater to some 11, 600 delegates of athletes, coaches, chaperons and technical officials. Including media, guests and family members of athletes, the 2015 Palaro will expect between 14,000 to 15,000 spectators.
He added that the accessibility of Davao del Norte was another plus factor, saying, “Dunay eight flights and PAL ug 11 flights ang Cebu Pacific daily sa Davao City. Davao City is just 45 minutes ride to Davao del Norte. So where can you find a more accessible venue than us,” said Gulanes. (Marianne Saberon-Abalayan of Sun.Star Davao)