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Palarong Pambansa 2023 opens with heavy rain, but no games canceled –DepEd

Three years after COVID-19 hit the country, the annual Palarong Pambansa resumed on Monday, but heavy rains plagued the opening ceremony due to Typhoon Falcon and the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat).



Despite the inclement weather, DepEd Assistant Secretary and Palarong Pambansa 2023 Secretary General Francis Cesar Bringas said that no games were canceled on Monday wherein tournaments for tennis, high jump, and pole vault were conducted.

“Despite the rain, we were able to get through this and the Department of Education has delivered a beautiful opening program today,” he said in a press conference.

Bringas said 11,000 people from different delegations, including around 7,200 athletes, coaches, assistant coaches, and trainers, are set to participate in this year’s games.

The student-athletes and delegates held a parade in the afternoon, which started in the Marikina River Park and ended at the Marikina Sports Center.

Asked about DepEd’s plans for student-athletes who will get sick due to the bad weather, Bringas said that it is “well covered” as the Marikina City local government unit has stationed medical teams, and the delegations themselves also brought medical teams with them.

“If there are going to be hospitalizations, the city has covered hospitalization fees in the ten public and private hospitals in the City of Marikina,” he added.

He also said that outdoor games may be canceled if the rain persists, but the DepEd will look into possible adjustments or alternate schedules for games that will be affected.

“There’s going to be an alternative schedule for the outdoor games, particularly, so that we will not be extending that long because an extension of more than one day would be costly for the city, as well as the delegations,” Bringas said.

Marikina City is the host of this year’s multi-sport event of student-athletes from 17 regions.

The competition proper is set from August 1 to August 5, but some games have already started as early as Monday.

In his speech, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. encouraged student-athletes to give their best and compete fairly during the games.

"As you take part in your chosen sport, remember you are already champions. And now, you represent your respective schools and localities. Compete with excellence, fairness, and integrity," the President said.

—JMB, GMA Integrated News