DepEd okays revival of Palarong Pambansa in July with Marikina as host

VICE PRESIDENT and Education Secretary Sara Duterte Carpio: Palarong Pambansa will be re-launched

By Jennifer T. Santos
PASIG CITY – The Department of Education headed by Vice President Sara Duterte has announced the revival of the Palarong Pambansa, the country’s largest inter-regional scholastic meet, after four years of hibernation due to the pandemic.

Last held in Davao City from April to May 2019, the revived Palaro will be held in Marikina City, a first-time host, from July 29 to August 5, the DepEd announced.

The local government of Marikina, which was originally slated to host the event in May 2020, will host the event with DepEd-National Capital Region (NCR) Office, and the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Marikina City.
According to DepEd Memorandum No. 5, s. 2023 or the Conduct of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa, Division Meets and Regional Meets shall be conducted on February 6-10 and April 24-28, respectively, as recommended by the Palarong Pambansa Secretariat.

Moreover, 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.

As such, the said new level will only feature team sports such as baseball, basketball, football, futsal, sepak takraw, football, and volleyball.

Under the new tier, delegations will be clustered into four groups based on their geographical location. Cluster 1 is comprised of the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); Cluster 2 is CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, NCR, and Bicol Region; Cluster 3 is Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula Region; and Cluster 4 is Northern Mindanao, Davao, SOCCKSARGEN, CARAGA, and BARMM.

The top two regional delegations per cluster will then advance to the actual Palarong Pambansa event.

The modified competition 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.

Measurable sports such as athletics, swimming, and archery will adopt the qualifying distance, time, and points set by the Palarong Pambansa. Other sports that do not apply qualifying standards in the selection of athletes and are not identified as team sports will advance directly to the Palarong Pambansa culminating competitions.

Aside from student-athletes from the 17 DepEd regional athletic associations, Filipino athletes enrolled in recognized schools overseas will also be allowed to compete in individual sports under the banner of Philippine Schools Overseas (PSOs).

Meanwhile, a separate memorandum will soon be issued regarding the technical guidelines of all sports to be played, as provided in Section 27, Rule VI of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10588 otherwise known as the Palarong Pambansa Act of 2013.

All 17 regions are set to be represented by student athletes from Kinder to Grade 12, with the addition of foreign-based student-athletes under the banner of Philippine Schools Overseas.

Changes will also be made to the competition format to adapt to the “new” normal, according to a memorandum released by the Department of Education (DepEd) last January 26.

To trim the number of participants, the proposed competition format will feature multiple screening processes during the division meets, which are underway, then the regional meets in late April and the new clustered pre-national qualifying meets in July.

Qualifying meets will be clustered into four groups based on geographical proximity.

Based on the DepEd memorandum, the pre-national qualifying meets will feature only team sports such as baseball, basketball, football, futsal, sepak takraw, softball, and volleyball.

Entry into measurable sports, such as athletics, swimming, and archery, will be determined by qualification standards.