Dr. Natividad Bayubay gives her speech during the closing ceremony of the Palarong Panlalawigan 2019 at Bataraza Sports Complex. Photo courtesy of Jayra Joyce Taboada.

The Provincial Board will summon Dr. Natividad Bayubay, career executive service officer (CESO) VI and officer-in-charge schools division superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Palawan, to explain her statement on scaling down the number of Palarong Panlalawigan student-athletes next year.

Natividad will be invited to the next meeting of the committee on education and sports.

“With her expression, I want to invite her [to explain] why she said that statement because as a parent, I believe that sports competitions are not only about winning but the competition itself. I have many questions regarding her statement,” board member David Francis Ponce de Leon said.

Board member Sharon Abiog-Onda also supported Ponce de Leon’s invitation, saying no one can judge the capabilities in sports of the students.

“I’m also in support of this invitation [after] hearing the shocking news about giving the opportunity [only to] those who are potential gold medalists to join the Palaro. It’s very sad on our part na ‘yon lang ang mabibigyan ng opportunity, after all hindi pa natin alam sa mga manlalaro ang may potential na makapaglaro sa provincial level or on the national level. Wala tayo sa position to judge, that is why this representation as a chairman of the committee on education and sports supports the invitation,” Onda said.

During the closing ceremony of the provincial sports competition held in Bataraza on November 15, Bayubay said that education officials in Palawan are planning to downscale to number of Palarong Panlalawigan participant by only allowing those who have the potential to win gold to join.

Bayubay said that this is to provide student-athletes the best and quality service they need during the provincial sports meet and to spend within the available budget.

“Next time, baka lima lang ang dadalhin ng isang team. Handful lang ang puwedeng dalhin kasi sila naman ang potential for gold. Possible na hindi na kasing laki ng provincial meet ngayon ang mangyayari, unless talagang gagalingan lahat ng mga bata and they would make sports as their lifestyle, possible na marami pa din sila,” she said.

Bayubay said with only a few to handle, sports coaches can concentrate on each and provide them the guidance they need.

Included in the plan is focusing on training the student-athletes in the sports where they are excelling.

“Para maibigay natin ‘yong quality na service that we can give them. Like we can give them the best uniforms we can afford and the food that you can give them kapag ka limited ‘yong numbers,” she said.