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PNoy signs law institutionalizing Palarong Pambansa

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has signed a new law institutionalizing the conduct of the Palarong Pambansa to improve the physical, intellectual and social well-being of the youth.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the regular press briefing in Malacañang on Friday, the Chief Executive signed on May 27 the Republic Act No. 10588 entitled “An Act Institutionalizing the conduct of the Palarong Pambansa and Appropriating Funds Therefor” or otherwise known as the “Palarong Pambansa Act”.

The Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill 3377 and House Bill 6119, was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 4, 2013 and February 5, 2013, respectively.

The President said it is the policy of the State to promote physical education and encourage sports programs, league competitions and amateur sports, including training for international competitions, to foster self-discipline, teamwork and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry through the institutionalization of the Palarong Pambansa as the country’s premier national sporting event.

The state shall support programs that will improve and promote the Palarong Pambansa as the primary avenue for providing in-school sports opportunities to improve the physical, intellectual and social well-being of the youth.

He directed all educational institutions to promote physical education and undertake regular sports activities as well as support the local meets and the Palarong Pambansa.

The law aims at institutionalizing the Palarong Pambansa as the premier national sporting event of the country under the Department of Education (DepEd) as a venue for talent identification, selection and recruitment of student athletes.

It also seeks to improve the DepEd’s national school sports program and give more prestige to the annual sports event by encouraging better participation of schools through incentives and rewards.

The law also encourages the local government units (LGUs) to take a proactive role in the promotion of the Palarong Pambansa locally and nationally by providing incentives and rewards.

The law mandates the creation of a Palarong Pambansa Board as the lead policy-making and coordinating body for the preparation and conduct of the Palarong Pambansa.

The Board shall be attached to the DepEd and shall be the proprietary owner of the words Palarong Pambansa and its related symbols, logos and concept.

The Board shall have seven members composed of the Secretary of the DepEd as Chairperson, Undersecretary of the DepEd, two Assistant Secretaries of the DepEd, the Chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, the President of the Philippine Olympic Committee and Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

A Secretary General shall be appointed by the Board from among the members of the Board representing the DepED.

The DepED Regional Offices shall organize the Regional Athletics Associations which shall supervise the conduct of the regional meets and organize their respective regional delegations to the Palarong Pambansa.

The hosting of the Palarong Pambansa shall be determined by bidding and guided by the principle of rotation among the geographical clusters: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“The Board shall formulate the criteria for the selection of the host LGU and shall take into consideration the existing sports facilities, their capacity to accommodate participants and guests, the security and peace and order situation of the area, and the need of the LGU for an opportunity to promote and showcase its socioeconomic-cultural uniqueness through the Palarong Pambansa: Provided, That existing sports facilities shall be given the highest weight among the criteria to be formulated,” the law stated.

Under the law, the official sports events in the Palarong Pambansa shall include, but not be limited to athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball and arnis for elementary division.

In addition to the aforesaid sports events, archery, billiards, boxing, futsal, wrestling and wushu shall be included in the Palarong Pambansa for the secondary division.

The law also provides that appropriate sports events shall be organized for students with disability.

The Board is mandated to conduct a review of the current rules and regulations and an inventory of existing sports facilities, venues and equipment being used in the Palarong Pambansa.

All sports events must be played according to international rules and regulations and the sports venues, facilities and equipment to be used shall be in accordance with international standards.

The Board shall consult the National Sports Associations in the review of the rules and regulations of each sports event.

The Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of the Interior and Local Government were also tapped to help in the conduct of the Palarong Pambansa.

The amount currently appropriated in the General Appropriations Act for the conduct of the Palarong Pambansa including pre-national Palaro activities under the DepEd shall be allocated and utilized for the initial implementation of this Act. Thereafter, such amount as may be necessary for its continued implementation shall be included under the budget of the DepEd in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Within 90 days after the approval of this Act, the DepEd, together with the concerned agencies, shall prepare and promulgate the implementing rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act. The IRR shall take effect 15 days following its publication in a major daily newspaper of general circulation.

The implementation of this Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a national newspaper of general circulation. PNA

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