Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo will lead the Negros Oriental delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Palarong Pambansa 2014 on May 5, 2014 in Santa Cruz, Laguna which is this year’s host of the annual sporting event.
Governor Degamo will play a major role during the opening ceremonies scheduled at 6 o’clock in the morning on May 5 through a civic military parade. Both he and DepEd Region-7 Regional Director Carmelita Dulangon will turn over the Palarong Pambansa Banner to Laguna Governor Jeorge Ejercito Estregan.
The turning-over of the banner signifies the formal relegation of the Province of Negros Oriental all its hosting obligations and responsibilities to the province of Laguna. As reported, the opening ceremonies will be graced by His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III who will be the guest of honor and speaker.
Governor Degamo admitted that he is very much eager to join the opening ceremonies for various reasons:
First, this is another opportunity for him to extend to the other regions his appreciation of the chance afforded Negros Oriental to host the Palarong Pambansa for the first time which happened during his incumbency as governor of the province. No less than DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro described the handling of the province of the national games as “Sans Rival” or “No equal.” It was the best so far, according to the DepEd Secretary.
Second, this is his chance to bring the voice and the pride of the Negrenses who were deeply honored to have been given the chance to host the Palarong Pambansa which had greatly contributed to the recovery of the local economy.
It may be recalled that Negros Oriental was greatly devastated by a series of calamites that hit the province.
And finally, maybe, the governor sees this as a chance for him to meet the President of the Republic of the Philippines, if he so desires, in order to extend his thanks for all the help that the national government granted Negros Oriental, despite of.
“Nasayod naman kamo nga ubay-ubay sa mga pondo gikan sa national nga kagamhanan, ilabi na kadtong mga dagkong pondo, aduna may mga nalambigit nga mga issue. Apan bisan pa niini, I am thankful to the president because I know he has a good heart,” the governor was quoted as saying.
Last year, the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental, and the province as a whole, was placed in the history map of the Palarong Pambansa for successfully hosting the coveted annual sporting event in the province from April 21-27, 2013.
It reportedly gathered more than 20 thousand athletes from the elementary and the secondary levels, coaches, schools administrators, officiating officials, DepEd officials and parents. Some of whom came to the province for the first time just to witness the Palarong Pamabsa which the governor sometimes describes as a sports festival.
The province’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa was also an opportunity for Negros Oriental to improve its local economy as business before and after the weeklong Palarong Pambansa was really vigorous.
The governor said it also helped the entire province during its rebuilding period when the province had to rise up from the rubbles of the various disasters that hit the entire Negros Oriental.
He added that the palaro was a blessing of sort for all the Negrenses since it came at a time when they really needed to rally the people in order to face the challenges resulting from the various disasters.
“Dako kaayo ug gikatabang ang Palarong Pambansa sa atong pag-bangon gikan sa mapa-it nga kasinati-an gikan sa mga katalagman,” the governor said.
As an aside, Governor Degamo said sports is one of the priority areas of the provincial government under his banner program dubbed as the Sa Probinsiya—MagDEGAMO Ta! along with Health, Education, Livelihood Programs and other projects as vehicles for attaining peace and development in the province.
The governor added this is the reason why after he assumed office in January 5, 2011, he continued the Negros Oriental Sports Development Program (NOSDEP) with the end view of bagging the elusive hosting rights of the Palarong Pambansa.
True enough, after going through the rigorous process of acquiring the hosting rights, the Province finally got it last year which definitely boosted the NOSDEP program of the provincial government.
“Definitely, the Palarong Pambansa bolstered our sports development program as we were given the opportunity to witness top caliber athletes from all over the country play during the weeklong sports festival. In fact, I believe there was knowledge and skill transfer during that time as our home grown athletes saw the performance and the playing techniques of our visitors,” the governor said.
He added this is the reason why he did not only continue the NOSDEP but also expanded it by forming the Negros Oriental Sports Confederation or NORSPORTS where he tapped officials of the local sports associations in the province to help the provincial government carry out comprehensive sports development programs.