LEGAZPI CITY, April 13 (PNA) -- The National Capital Region is leading the 18 delegations competing in the Palarong Pambansa 2016, being held at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex inside the Bicol University here, in terms of the number of gold, bronze and silver medals won in various games as of Wednesday noon.
It raked in 21 gold, 12 bronze and 9 silver medals; while the closest rival, Region VI, got 16 gold, 11 bronze and 8 silver.
Region IV-A scored 16 - 11 - 15; Region VII had 9 - 6 - 8; Region X clinched 9 - 11 - 14; CAR garnered 7 - 9 - 5; and XII hauled in 6 - 4 - 9.
Others who had five gold medals are Region III, with 5 - 3 - 9 medals brought home; and Negros Island Region, with 5 - 11 - 9.
Those with below five gold medals were: ARMM, 3 - 3 - 4; Region XI, 2 - 7 - 5; Region II, 2 - 3 - 3; Region V, 2 - 5 - 6; Region VIII, 1 - 1 - 3; Region I, 0 - 3 - 5; Region IV-B, 0 - 1 - 4; and Region IX, 0 - 3 - 3.
The Department of Education has placed at stake 485 gold, silver and bronze medals for the winners in the elementary level and 610 medals for the secondary.
Palarong Pambansa Secretary General Cesar Abalon earlier said he expected a tighter competition among the regions due to the new program of preparations the DepEd has made like in the case of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), which had previously not entered the Top Ten but landed in the Top 4 in the Palarong Pambansa 2015.
Meanwhile, he said the National Capital Region, which has always been the champion, has been observed to have been raking in less gold medals in the past three years.
The formation of the Negros Island Region, Abalon said, would have a telling effect on Region 6, which was at the third place in 2015, and on Region 7 because they were divided to come up with the NIR.
He noted that almost all of the best players went to the NIR.
For this year's Palaro, the DepEd included the special games for players with handicap -- especially in swimming, athletics and ballgames -- and, especially the blind chess because the department plans to formally include them in the Palarong Pambansa 2017 in the Visayas Region .
For now, this category has not been included in the medal standing.
With the implementation of the K-12 or senior high school, there will also be age adjustments wherein those aged 17 and 18 will be included, thus, resulting in higher performance level of the players.(PNA) BNB/FGS/NIM/CBD/PJN