This image, posted by the Puerto Princesa City Sports Office on 3 October 2022, depicts students participating in a game to improve their stamina and athletic abilities.

The City Sports Office (CSO) asserts that sports activities are “educational,” despite reports that the Department of Education (DepEd) is postponing the holding of sports meets in order to focus on academics.

The city government has expressed concern about what it described as the DepEd’s waning interest in supporting athletic activities and has vowed to step up to continue with its current programs.

CSO head Atty. Rocky Austria told Palawan News that DepEd might forego other athletic events after the holding of Batang Pinoy in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

“Nagkakaroon nga ngayon ng concerns kasi actually may Batang Pinoy sa Vigan, may delegation din tayo pero nareschedule kasi mukhang ayaw ng DepEd na school season dahil gusto nila sa break na,” Austria said.

“May naga-gather din tayong information na naka focus ang DepEd sa academic kaya ang mga city meet at ibang sports activities ay baka i-defer muna,” he added.

Austria said that the City Government is willing to conduct the inter-school Mayor’s Cup in place of intramurals or the city meet in the belief that students have a lot to learn from these sports activities.

“Pero tayo, on our part ay handa naman tayong sumalo ng mga activities na ito. In fact next year, kung hindi magkakaroon ng mga intramurals ang mga bata ay ang city government, sa advise ni Mayor, ay sasaluhin ang mga activities na ito sa Mayor’s Cup. Magkakaroon tayo ng inter-school para ang mga kabataan na hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataon na makapaglaro ay masasalo. Educational din kasi ito dahil marami silang matututunan, ‘yong team work, discipline. Kung walang ganyan na activity ang DepEd ay makikipagtulungan tayo but in a local level lang,” Austria said.

Even with these problems, Austria said that CSO has been promoting sports among young people by holding sports caravans in barangays that are close together and the Mayor’s Cup, which is still going on.

“Mayroon tayong sports caravan na ongoing kung saan tayo ang dumadayo sa mga clustered barangays para makapagbigay ng information about sports para maencourage ang mga kabataan, teachers at coaches. Mayroon din tayong Mayor’s Cup, which is still ongoing every Friday and Saturday, ay mayroon tayong basketball,” Austria said.

Austria also announced the inclusion of archery, volleyball, sepak takraw, and wushu events in the Mayor’s Cup after the conduct of the IronMan 70.3 in November.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.