Saturday, April 16, 2016

UAAP, NCCA talent scouts brand Albay's hosting of Palarong Pambansa 2016 as 'best ever'
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda posted in his Facebook account that University Athletic Association of the Philippines and National College Athletic Association talent scouts had told him that Albay's hosting of Palarong Pambansa 2016 is the best ever for them, for the athletes and for the spectators.

As Palarong Pambansa continues to its Day 4, most indoor venues are air-conditioned and well-maintained, especially those in Catholic schools and Bicol College.

Outdoor venues and billeting sites are not far as compared to all previous Palaro sites, the talent scouts said.

"We have 38 venues and 24 billeting, all separately and conglomerately vibrant, with the BU Albay Sports and Tourism Complex as the biggest. All are heavily clustered inside the Metropolitan Circuited, Networked and Connected Legazpi and Daraga with spokes into Camalig-Guinobatan to the south and Sto. Domingo-Bacacay to the northeast -- still within 15 minutes despite the heightened traffic," Salceda said.

The 2,527 Philippine National Police personnel deployed are on the job and 1,217 emergency responders are ready and quick to respond but the heat index of up to 41 degrees centigrade is putting tremendous pressure -- not just on the participants but on the crowds, which are so much bigger than expected.

The crowd watching the football match between Bicol and Caraga was so huge even at 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. that the spillovers had to be cleared first before the officials allowed the match to start.

The swelling crowds should have been mitigated by the fact that this is the first live-streamed coverage by so many media networks and covered by national TV network (ABS-CBN) for the first time in 40 years.

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) head, is personally handling the transport of collected garbage from venues to material recovery facilities.

"A few issues are mostly on account of overwhelming or even preponderant attendance, especially at the main central venue -- which begins very early at 4 a.m. and ends very late at 11 p.m., giving our sweepers awkward and limited window for total cleanup," Salceda said. (PNA) LAP/FGS/CBD