EDITORIAL: Credit where credit is due

Congratulations is due the athletic delegation of Puerto Princesa City for bagging the overall championship in the 2018 MIMAROPA games in San Jose, Mindoro Occidental, for both the elementary and secondary levels. The delegation of the province of Palawan also deserves props for its 2nd place finish in the secondary level and 5th place ranking in the elementary level.

Credit must be accorded to the parents of the athletes of Puerto Princesa  City for stepping up to the plate and filling in the huge gaps in financial and material assistance needed by their children to achieve a competitive edge in the games.

Unknown to many, and Palawan News had been told by coaches and parents, the athletes had to go through a physically grueling training regimen with zero funding from either the City government or the Department of Education at least during the first 10 days of their 3-week closed quarter training at the Santa Monica Elementary School.

All the athletes, nearly 500 of them, had also to contend with inadequate training facilities available to them with the funding the City government had been able to cough up, an amount that was the same as what was allocated to them last year when the regional games were held in Brooke’s Point and they did not have to spend for air or boat fares as was the case this year.

With very limited funds, the athletes during their training period had a meal allocation pegged at P200/day, which even the coaches admitted was not sufficient to allow them the basic nutrition and optimum environment needed to physically prepare for the games.

That the athletes had to be compelled by their coaches to undergo a three-week quartered training under less than ideal, nay oppressive, living conditions did not make sense to some parents and observers. When asked by reporters, the coaches explained that their practice of quartering is a time-honored protocol. Some coaches even pointed out that the funding they had been receiving from the city government was even comparatively higher than what most of the provinces in the MIMAROPA region were receiving from their local governments.

The PPC delegation will be preparing for the national games, the 2018 Palarong Pambansa, where they will be competing with other regions who have also excelled under training conditions that may be similar or better than what was available to Puerto Princesa City’s athletes.

For both the MIMAROPA and Palarong Pambansa preparations of the city athletic delegation, the government-allocated budget has already been pegged at P13 million, based on information gathered by Palawan News.

As indicative of the scaling down and adjustments the coaches and athletic officials had to make to prepare for the MIMAROPA games, a decision imposed on them by their tight financial limitations, the same limited scope of preparations may be expected from them for the Palarong Pambansa. Parents and other private individuals may again have to step up and fill the gaps. Or the City government and the DepEd division may want to review their priorities and supplement their budget.

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