(Eagle News) — Palarong Pambansa 2018 kicked off on Sunday, April 15, with President Rodrigo Duterte as guest of honor.
In his speech at the Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, President Duterte hailed the nationwide sports youth competition as a “training ground for future leaders and nation builders whose values and principles are founded on perseverance, discipline, teamwork, integrity and love of country.”
He said it was also an event that allows the youth to avoid drugs, a “social ill” which he said the government was striving hard to eradicate for them and the next generation.
“Rest assured this administration will never stop working hard to make the Philippines a better nation,” he said.
He urged the parents and teachers of students to help the government in the endeavor, as he said “we cannot do this alone.”
The President also urged the student-athletes from across 17 regions in the country to do their best not only in sports but also in their studies too.
He said “balanc(ing) academics and other interests” allows them to develop certain skills such as time management, multi-tasking and decision-making, which they “need as (they) take on greater responsibility in the near future.”
“I look forward to your more significant contributions to society in the days to come,” he said.
During the opening ceremony, the President also witnessed the hoisting of the Palarong Pambansa banner administered by Philippine Sports Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua, Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations and Procurement Revsee Escobedo, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Affairs and Special Concerns Marjorie Jalosjos, and Ilocos Sur Vice Governor Jeremias Singson.
A total of 1,311 medals will be awarded to the winners.