MANILA, Philippines – Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental hope to show the rest that they have recovered from a couple of misfortunes as they guarantee a successful staging of the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission National Games slated May 26-June 3.
“The province was struck by Tropical Storm Sendong and a 6.9 magnitutde earthquake and we were having second thoughts of hosting the Phl National Games,” said Negros Oriental provincial administrator Jose Arnel Francisco, who spoke in behalf of Gov. Roel Degamo in yesterday’s event launch at the Century Park Hotel.
“But we realized that hosting this event will best showcase not only our hospitality but will also prove to everyone that Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental have recovered,” he added.
“I did not hesitate to accept the hosting offer but this is the only way to show the country and the world and let them feel that we are back on our feet,” Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, for his part, said.
The PNG has actually kicked off early this week with some events held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and Pasig City, Parañaque, Rizal, and Taguig City. But the bulk of the competitions – 24 of 38 – will be staged in Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental.
Events on tap are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, billiards, chess, dance sports, football, futsal, judo, karatedo, lawn tennis, pencak silat, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.
The rest – canoe kayak, dragon boat, rugby and taekwondo – are scheduled in Laguna to be hosted by Gov. Jeorge Ejercito Estregan.
“We’re ready to host these sports,” said Ejercito, whose province has hosted one of the regional legs of the Batang Pinoy last year and the 2001 Batang Pinoy Youth Games in Sta. Cruz.
Meanwhile, PSC chair Richie Garcia and commissioners Jolly Gomez and Buddy Andrada along with POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the latter’s hosting of the 2012 Batang Pinoy first leg this September.
“These are two programs that we hope to help strengthen our grassroots development program,” said Garcia.