Friday, April 8, 2016

It's all systems go for Palarong Pambansa 2016 -- Salceda
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, April 7 (PNA) -- The Province of Albay is all set for Palarong Pambansa 2016 to be held on April 10-17.

Governor Joey Sarte Salceda on Thursday said the province has prepared well for its first hosting of the national games and assured all players, school officials and other delegates, and guests that everything will be fine, fun, fantastic and free of trouble during the entire duration of the sports activities which, he said, is a "touristic sports tournament" in the games' entire history.

Salceda said that aside from the 18,000 members of the delegation from the 18 regions of the country, including the newly established Negros Island Region that arrived Thursday, he expects to have 40,000 national tourists from all over the Philippines and 120,000 regional and provincial tourists from Bicol who will come to view and experience the games from opening to closing of the Palaro.

Despite the influx of a score of participants and spectators, he said, the province will endeavor to attain its "zero casualty and zero injury goal" and for this, security officials are fielding 2,600 personnel from the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines and 300 support staff for health and emergency response.

The Albay chief executive said that in place for any contingency are 17 ambulances, 31 medical stations and a chopper to serve as air ambulance.

Salceda said the province has constructed various new and modern facilities like a 2,500-capacity grandstand, track oval, olympic-size swimming pool and many others that was funded with Php410 million, with an additional Php45 million for the operational expenses in the duration of the Palaro.

Working hard for these facilities to be finished on time are the Provincial Engineering Office headed by Dante Baclao and the Verzontal Builders Inc.

He said that although the province spent millions of pesos for Palaro, the returns will be much more in terms of the event's impact on tourism and business in the province.

All hotels and inns in Albay are either occupied or reserved while all flights and bus trips coming to Legazpi are fully booked.

Some visitors who arrived on Wednesday came as chance passengers in bus stations just to be able to make it here. (PNA) LAP/FGS/JH/CBD/EDS