‘Cebu City all set for Palaro 2024’

CEBU. Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia answers questions during a Palarong Pambansa 2024 press conference at the Cebu City Sports Center Friday, June 28, 2024.
CEBU. Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia answers questions during a Palarong Pambansa 2024 press conference at the Cebu City Sports Center Friday, June 28, 2024.Photo by Jean Mondoñedo

CEBU City officials said preparations for Palarong Pambansa 2024 are complete, and now the city eagerly awaits the country’s largest sporting event.

Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said everything is set, and the City is ready to welcome guests and delegates.

“We are all very much prepared. All systems are go...we will make sure that all the preparations will lead to the success of Palaro,” said Garcia in a press conference on Friday, June 28.

Garcia then called on all Cebuanos to pray for Palaro’s success.

“The essential thing in Cebu that is needed is to work as a team,” he said.

Tomas Pastor, Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd 7) Education Support Services chief, said they are just waiting for the actual start of the country’s biggest national sporting event.

“Since everything is ready, all we have to do is pray,” he said.

Peace and security

Garcia said he already sent off the security enforcers for the Palaro earlier on Friday.

These include personnel from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Task Force Kasaligan, auxiliary forces, disaster office, and the Cebu City Transportation Office, among others.

Since more than 12,000 athletes are expected to arrive in Cebu, not including sports officials, VIPs and their families, Garcias said security must be tightened.

He said he sent the enforcers to “war against criminality” to keep the peace in Cebu.

Adolf Aguilar, Cebu City assistant School Division Superintendent, added that during the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association, there was a zero percent crime rate associated with the event.

Aguilar added that every event in Palaro is open to all. However, the number of spectators allowed is subject to the facility’s capacity.

Billeting quarters

Meanwhile, DepEd 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said they are now polishing all billeting quarters and over 30 playing venues for the Palaro.

In an interview on Saturday, June 29, Jimenez said they are currently doing the “finishing touches” on the facilities.

Among the 19 schools selected to serve as billeting quarters are the Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School, San Nicolas Elementary School, Mabolo National High School, and Guadalupe Elementary School, while some of the playing venues include South Road Properties for Archery and the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex for Arnis.

‘Good weather’

Jimenez said they also hope for good weather during the duration of the sports activities to ensure the safety and health of the delegates.

“What we are praying now is it won’t rain hard. Though if it rains, I know rain or shine, it is the Palarong Pambansa, but we are looking into the safety and health of our athletes,” he said.

Moreover, he expressed confidence that the athletes representing Central Visayas will excel, adding that they are expecting the region to at least place in the top 5 overall rankings.

Other national events will also take place within the timeframe of the Palarong Pambansa such as the Learning Conference in Lapu-Lapu City, the National Festival of Talents in the City of Naga, and the National Schools Press Conference in Carcar City.

Two other events will commence in Carmen and San Fernando for the Brigada Eskwela and National Learning Camp Appreciation Day, respectively.

Cebu City is hosting this year’s Palarong Pambansa, marking its first time as host since 1994, three decades ago.

Cebu City officials led the inauguration and blessing of the newly-renovated Cebu City Sports Center, the primary venue for the Palaro games, last June 27, officially re-opening the renovated track oval, grandstand and gymnasium.

In the Palarong Pambansa schedule, delegates are expected to arrive on July 1 to 5 with the competition proper happening from July 11 to 15. / JPS, DPC

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