This year, the competitions of the Batang Pinoy will serve as a complementary event of the Palarong Pambansa.
Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez said this as the 2019 Batang Pinoy national and regional legs get under way next month.
“The Batang Pinoy is the center of children sports development, which is in line with the implementation of the National Sports Development Program,” said Ramirez.
The 2019 Batang Pinoy will have Davao del Norte, Isabela and Iloilo as hosts of the Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas legs, respectively.
The Mindanao leg is set at Davao del Norte from Feb. 2 to 9, followed by the Visayas leg in Iloilo from Feb. 23 to March. 2.
Then, the city of Ilagan, Isabela will be the host of the Luzon leg from March 16 to 23.
The venue of the national finals is still up for discussion, which could be Tagbilaran City or Ormoc City.
Ramirez explained that in partnership with the Department of Education, they have synchronized the staging of the Batang Pinoy to be held right before the Palarong Pambansa in the coming years.
“We have crafted this road map for grassroots sports that leads to the Palarong Pambansa,” added Ramirez after he signed a memorandum of agreement with Davao del Norte sports director Giovannie Gulanes, Iloilo Sports Coordinator Moises Carvajal and Ilagan Isabela City representative Ricky Laggui.
Ramirez added that there were clamors to stop staging the games of the Batang Pinoy to give way to the Palarong Pambansa.
But, that did not materialize.
“We are sealing this partnership with our host LGUs to ensure mutual cooperation and achieve a successful staging of Batang Pinoy from Mindanao, Visayas and to Luzon,” said Ramirez of the meet that was almost cancelled this year but was reconsidered after the LGUs and Department of Education bent on its huge help for the youth.
“It was almost cancelled because of program duplication but hiniling sa atin ng mga LGUs at DepEd mismo na ituloy dahil hindi lamang nito nabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga estudyante kundi pati na ang mga out-of-school youth at ibang mahihirap na kabataan na umunlad sa sports,” Ramirez said.
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