Negros Occidental, together with its capital Bacolod City, will host the 64th edition of the Palarong Pambansa in 2021, the provincial government announced.
The right to host anew the annual national sports competition was awarded to the province by the Palarong Pambansa Board and the Department of Education (DepEd) during their special board meeting in Manila on Wednesday.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the Negros Occidental team during the presentation of the bid in January, said the province is “ready and very eager” to host the national sports event.
In a letter addressed to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday, DepEd officer-in-charge Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo, secretary-general of Palarong Pambansa, informed Marañon that “upon careful study and deliberations on the bids presented by the bidder-LGUs (local government units) and the inspection report presented by the technical inspection team, Negros Occidental was declared the winning LGU to host the 2021 Palaro, by a majority vote.”
The Palaro Board is composed of members from the DepEd, Philippine Sports Commission, and Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Negros Occidental, which is part of the powerhouse Team Western Visayas, edged out Capiz province in its bid to host the Palarong Pambansa for the sixth time since 1971.
In February, a joint technical inspection team from the DepEd led by Cesar Abalon, chief of School Sports Division, and Lemuel Valles, project development officer, visited the province to conduct a six-day inspection and validation of the proposed playing venues and billeting quarters.
The team went to the cities of Bago, Bacolod, Silay and Talisay, and also checked various schools in Bacolod.
Negros Occidental last hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 2000, two years after the Panaad Park and Stadium was opened for the hosting of the same event in 1998.
Negros Occidental was also the host in 1971, 1974 and 1979, making it the province to have hosted the most number of Palarong Pambansa events in history.
The first edition of the Palarong Pambansa was hosted by the City of Manila in 1948.*
(Nanette Guadalquiver, NDB Photo by PN)