Preparations for the staging of the Palarong Pambansa 2013 in Negros Oriental on April 21 to 27 are 80 percent complete, with only minor restorations ongoing at the different billeting quarters and playing venues in the province.

Department of Education schools provincial superintendent Salustiano Jimenez said the facilities can already be used even with the final preparations and facelifts still needed to meet international standards, especially at the playing venues.

The technical committee members from various regions and the central office of DepEd had earlier met in the province to discuss the Palaro details, he added.

Jimenez said he is optimistic that, with the help and cooperation of all Negrenses, the stakeholders and the media, the province can make a difference in hosting the national sporting event.

He declined to comment on the possibility that politicians and candidates will take advantage of the national games for their own election campaigns.

He said a statement from the DepEd central office on how to deal with this kind of situation has already been released.

Jimenez added President Benigno Aquino III may attend the opening of the Palaro in Dumaguete City, as Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro have both invited him as guest of honor.

So far, there has been no response yet from the Office of the President, he added.*JFP