Albay likely to host 'Palarong Pambansa' before 2016 -- Salceda

The provincial government of Albay will soon bid to host the "Palarong Pambansa" (National Games) before year 2016.

“This is what I wish to achieve before my term ends,” said Governor Joey Sarte Salceda after his conversation with President Benigno S. Aquino III, who visited Legazpi City on Monday morning.

Salceda said he requested from the President at least P280 million for a chance to host the event by modernizing the sports facilities of the province.

"Ilang beses na po sana kaso hindi po kaya ng budget. Ayaw ko naman mangutang kasi ginagamit ‘yung pera for scholarships lalo na sa BU. Eh, mga P280 million po (For several times I have wanted to host it but our budget would not permit it. I don’t want to borrow because we need the money (for payment) for our scholarships, especially in the Bicol University. About P280 million only," Salceda said he told President Aquino.

He had a chance to talk to Aquino after the inauguration of the Bicol University Health Sciences Building Phases 1 and 2 and the launch of the MD-MPA Program in the university, where the President stressed the importance of education as one of the pillars of change.

According to the target list of the Department of Education (DepEd) of possible venues for the year 2015, the annual multi-level national scholastic athletic competition could be in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Butuan City, or Agusan del Norte -- all in Mindanao.

In 2016, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, Lingayen in Pangasinan, Camarines Sur, Pampanga, Bocaue in Bulacan – all in Luzon -- will possibly bid for the annual multi-sporting event.

The winning bidder is given the chance to host.

If Albay constructs new sports facilities that can accommodate the delegates of the 17 regions of the Philippines before 2016, the province will possibly host the national games after several years, Salceda said.

In 1974, the Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games or (BPISAA) was renamed "Palarong Pambansa."

It was the fifth BPISAA games in 1952 which Albay hosted, particularly in Legazpi City, while Naga City, Camarines Sur, hosted the event for almost four times. (PNA)