BATARAZA, Palawan – Education officials in Palawan are eyeing to scale down the number of athletes who will be participating in next year’s Palarong Panlalawigan by only allowing those who have the potential to win gold to join.

Dr. Natividad Bayubay, career executive service officer (CESO) VI and officers-in-charge schools division superintendent of DepEd Palawan, said Friday 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.

Rizal incident

Meanwhile, on November 14, Bayubay met with DepEd district supervisors to discuss with them the selection of the best athletes for next year’s Palarong Panlalawigan, stressing the need to keep them secure in all aspects of participation.

She cited that the incident involving the Rizal delegation where student-athletes were transported to Bataraza using unsafe vehicles should no longer be repeated.

“I wanted to clarify to them that this palaro is the selection of the representation of Palawan to the regional meet, so our goal is to select the best athletes. I have to clarify with them the incident involving the Rizal athletes which was posted on Facebook and got viral. I need to clarify with them that the budget should limit the participation of the athletes. Hindi natin sila masyadong gipitin, kasi it would also sacrifice and compromise ‘yong kanilang security, food, and all that,” she said.

Bayubay said she had already sent a memorandum to the DepEd Palawan district offices, reiterating the security measures that must be followed when students are off-campus.

Despite the challenges, Bayubay said the provincial meet was held successfully with the participation of over 6,000 sports officials, coaches, and student-athletes from various elementary and high schools in Palawan.

“Nakakatuwa naman na despite the difficulty of bringing the kids here ay they enjoyed and they came to win,” she said.


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Jayra Joyce Cañete Taboada handles the law and order and the science and education beats. She is also a licensed professional teacher.