GMA TO GRACE OPENING OF 2003 PALARONG PAMBANSA, OCT 25-29 IN LANAO

MANILA, OCTOBER 15, 2003 (STAR) By Abac Cordero  - No less than President Arroyo will be around when the 2003 Palarong Pambansa, thrice postponed this year due to the unstable peace and order situation in Mindanao, finally pushes through in Tubod, Lanao del Norte later this month.

The President gracing the opening of the annual multi-event sportsfest for elementary and high school students is also part of her administration’s continuing effort to promote peace, through sports, in the Mindanao region.

The event scheduled Oct. 25 to 29 is expected to draw more than 5,000 athletes and officials at the P500 million Mindanao Civic Center, which was built by Lanao del Norte, under Gov. Imelda Dimaporo, six years ago.

"The President has been very supportive of the province’s hosting of the Palaro. And we are grateful that she has accepted our invitation. This is a big boost not only for the Palaro but also for the people of Mindanao," said Gov. Dimaporo.

The staging of the Palaro in Tubod, according to the lady governor, will also showcase Mindanao’s rich culture and tradition and at the same time prove that peace and order is no longer a problem at least in Tubod.

It will be the first time that the Palaro will be held in mid-schoolyear, making it very difficult for the organizers to draw full participation from the country’s 15 regions. The National Capital Region, in fact, has yet to confirm its participation.

Gov. Dimaporo recently met with the heads of the organizing committees and the 22 municipal mayors under her wings, urging them to mobilize their respective forces to ensure the smooth staging of the event.

While gearing up for the Palaro, the province of Lanao del Norte is also busy preparing for the third Mindanao Friendship Games set Oct. 19-24 in Mati, Davao Oriental.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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