MARIKINA City will host the return of the Palarong Pambansa from July 29 to August 5 this year under a modified format, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).
The Palaro was shuttered for three years by the pandemic and is making a comeback detached from its traditional summer program.
Under DepEd Memorandum No. 5, s. 2023 or the Conduct of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa, Division Meets and Regional Meets, the first phase of the geographical qualifiers for the games end on Friday while the next phase is set from April 24 to 28.
An additional tier called the Pre-National Qualifying Meet will be introduced to lessen the number of delegations, shorten the duration of the event and lower the expenses to be incurred—all without sacrificing the level of play.
The modified program covers team sports baseball, basketball, football, futsal, sepak takraw, football and volleyball.
The modified format aims to prevent the disruption of classes and to observe minimum public health and safety protocols as stated in DepEd Order No. 34, s. 2022, and other relevant policies and guidelines issued.
Under the new tier, delegations will be clustered into four groups based on their geographical locations—Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera Administrative Region for Cluster 1; Calabarzon, Mimaropa, National Capital Region and Bicol Region for Cluster 2; Western, Central and Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula Region for Cluster 3; and Northern Mindanao, Davao, SOCCKSARGEN, Caraga, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for Cluster 4.
The top two delegations per cluster will advance to the Palarong Pambansa proper.