Negros Oriental won the bidding against Negros Occidental and will host the Palarong Pambansa next year.

In his letter to Gov. Roel Degamo Wednesday, Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the province has been selected to host the sports event.

Luistro said the decision took into consideration the presentations made and the report provided by the technical committee of DepEd officials and the Philippine Sports Commission.

He said the final choice was based on the result of the votes cast by 11 of the 19-member Palarong Pambansa Board.

Degamo said he is happy with the DepEd decision and thanked the DepEd Division of Negros Oriental, headed by Salutiano Jimenez, the mayors, and Reps. George Arnaiz (Neg. Or., 2 nd District) and Pryde Henry Teves (3 rd District) for their support.

He said this is a dream come true for the province, that has yet to host the sports event. He also said hosting the Palaro will have a ripple effect in the economy of the province with more than 15,000 athletes, coaches and officials participating, and will benefit the tourism and transportation industries and other sectors.

In its Palaro bid, the province offered its state-of-the-art sports facilities; playing venues within a 12-kilometer radius; safe, clean and secure billeting quarters; uninterrupted power; potable water, competent medical facilities and teams, excellent peace and order situation, efficient transportation system, citywide 4G wireless communication, stress-relieving tourist destinations and the warmth and wonder of the people of Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City.

Jimenez, meanwhile, said that Negros Occidental had hosted Palaro games several times in the past, and it is time for Negros Oriental to prove its worth.*JG