DepEd set 2011 Palarong Pambansa in Dapitan City to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal

Dr Jose Rizal in Dapitan
An April 27, 2011 press release by the Department of Education
To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, his four years in exile and the 115th year of his death, the Department of Education will stage this year’s Palarong Pambansa in Dapitan City.
A yearly sporting event participated in by the country’s top elementary and high school athletes, an estimated 600 athletes and school officials per region (10, 200 participants nationwide) are expected to take part in the May 8 to 14 week-long event.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro emphasized that the Palaro will be run based on Filipino core values such as honesty and fair play.
Moreover, this year’s Palaro will put equal emphasis on environmental concern, thus the Secretary’s call to make it a “green Palaro.”
“All participants are urged to adhere to the clean, green and eco-friendly measures that DepEd intends to implement during the conduct of the 2011 Palarong Pambansa to ensure the protection of  public health and environment,” Luistro added.
This year, the Palaro committee plans to include special awards such as the Most Green for environmental friendly athletes and the Most Disciplined Athlete and/or Region.
Luistro hopes that despite the big number of people attending the national sports event, the foreseeable garbage problem could be minimized. He likewise expects that there will be either none or limited use of plastic and Styrofoam, urging students to bring their own utensils and reusable plastic containers for food.
DepEd issued the General Technical Guidelines and Competition Formats to ensure that the Palaro upholds sportsmanship and that the annual sports event will run smoothly.
Luistro appealed to all Palaro participants to adhere to fair play and honesty, especially with regards to the fielding of overaged athletes and identity switching.
A month before the staging of the event, Palaro executive committee chairman Romeo Jalosjos assured DepEd  that Dapitan City is ready to host the 2011 Palarong Pambansa. “I’m confident that we will meet the deadline. All of the big venues will be operational by that time. We are ready to receive them in Dapitan,” Jalosjos guaranteed.
The DepEd inspection team lead by Secretary Luistro recently visited the construction of the grandstand, the swimming pool, one of the schools to billet the delegation and the convention center.  “I was assured by the contractor that the different facilities will be completed on time for the holding of the event,” the education chief added.
Recently, Palarong Pambansa venue coordinator Mr. Eugenio Penales reported the completion of the grandstand, the swimming pool and renovations in 10-hectare Jose Rizal Memorial State University athletic complex, the main venue of the Palaro.
On the other hand, contractors are currently finishing the renovations of the track field lanes. “It will be operational by May 5,” Penales added.
The Palarong Pambansa is DepEd’s way of promoting physical education and sports as an integral part of the Basic Education Curriculum and as an affirmation to its commitment to develop the  potentials of the youth to become resposible and globally competitive citizens.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs, headed by Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, assisted by the Task Force on School Sports (TFSS) shall spearhead the event. The TFSS shall provide technical management, secretariat/staff and operational services.