Capitol pledges P8M for Palaro closing rites

Capitol pledges P8M for Palaro closing rites
JOINT EFFORT. Cebu Province Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia makes a pledge to Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia that the Provincial Government will donate P8 million for the closing ceremony of Palarong Pambansa 2024. / cebu provincial government

PARTICIPANTS of the Palarong Pambansa 2024 can expect a colorful and grand closing ceremony after the Cebu Provincial Government pledged to donate P8 million for the event.

Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said Friday, July 5, that these promises were made by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in a meeting at the Capitol on Thursday, July 4, in which Cebu City Sports Commissioner John Pages was also in attendance.

He told SunStar Cebu that the P8 million would be another savings for the City Government, as he expressed his gratitude to the governor who is his aunt.

He added that it showed the unity of Cebu as one island.

“We are very happy about this development, and this shows nga nagtinabangay diay ang tibuok (everyone is working together in) Sugbo, the whole province, one Cebu Island, including adjacent cities for the successful Palaro,” Mayor Garcia said.

He said the City Government will no longer spend too much on the closing ceremony, with aid coming from the Provincial Government.

The 2024 Palaro is set to commence on Tuesday, July 9, with its opening ceremony to be held at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

Garcia said that the Provincial Government will be joining the effort in hosting, with the City Government and the Department of Education (DepEd), the closing ceremony of the Palaro on July 16 at CCSC.

The City Government in partnership with the DepEd remains the main host of the annual youth sporting event.

In a report from the official social media platform of the Cebu Provincial Government, Governor Garcia planned to introduce “state-of-the-art technology and technical wizardry” for the closing ceremony.

In addition, the closing ceremonies will also be filled with a lineup of celebrity performers and hosts to grace the event, including Vice President Inday Sara Duterte, the outgoing DepEd Secretary.

Joint effort

Last May, the Cebu City Government, under the helm of Acting Mayor Garcia, made a pact with the Provincial Government to join forces for the successful conduct of the Palarong Pambansa.

The pact also involved the local government units of the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.

Under the deal, the LGUs are to contribute in various ways to the success of Palaro 2024, including extending financial aid and the deployment of additional human resources or security assistance.

Promotion and enhancing sports tourism, in which the LGUs will also be involved, were also among the provisions of the deal.

It can be recalled that the Provincial Government and the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue had no involvement with the hosting of Palaro before Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was preventively suspended for six months starting in May.

Rama had an ongoing rift with Governor Garcia over issues such as the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District, the Cebu Port Authority, the Sinulog Festival, and others.

With the six-month preventive suspension of Rama that started in May 2024, he was not involved in the programs and preparations for the Palaro.

Rama was behind the successful bid for the hosting rights of the Palarong Pambansa after the City of Marikina in Metro Manila passed the helm to Cebu City back in 2023.

The Cebu City Government will host, for the first time since 1994, the annual multi-event youth sporting event with around 12,000 delegates from 17 participating regions next week.

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