After its suspension last year due to the Covid19 pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) is looking to conduct the Palarong Pambansa virtually in 2021.

/ 5 February 2021

DepEd secretariat Director Joel Erestain said that they are studying the possible sports that can be held online. 

“We’re looking at, and we’re hoping, and right now we’re planning to hold virtual Palarong Pambansa. Kaso nga lang, hindi na siya ‘yung full spectrum of the sporting events of the Palaro. But kung ano ‘yung pupwedeng ma-video,” Erestain said.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones announced in May 2020 that the Palarong Pambansa, as well as other events that draw large crowds, are suspended to prevent the spread of Covid19. 

The 2020 edition of the Palarong Pambansa was supposed to be held in Marikina in May.

Erestain stressed that the safety of the student-athletes is the primary concern of DepEd when it comes to holding the virtual Palaro.

“Our primordial concern is the safety of our students especially our students in Palarong Pambansa are below 18. They are minors,” he said.

“As much as possible, we won’t let them go out in this virtual Palaro and the exposure is very limited. If this pushes through, students 15 to 18 years old are the only ones who can join,” he added. 

Erestain added that DepEd has already identified the sports it will hold in the virtual Palaro, but he can’t disclose it yet as the Palarong Pambansa board is still finalizing these.

He said they will also have to send the proposal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for its approval.

Hindi pa final at hindi pa naa-approve ng Palarong Pambansa board, we’re finalizing our proposal pa. Siyempre from the Palarong Pambansa board, iaakyat pa namin ‘yan sa IATF. Kaya hindi ko rin mabanggit ang mga sports” Erestain said. 

Given the current Covid19 situation in the country, Erestain also believes that a physical face-to-face Palaro may not happen this year and in 2022. 

“It will all depend on how the vaccines are rolled out nationwide, especially on students. Ang talagang primordial concern natin will always be the safety of our children, especially on the part of Palarong Pambansa and our student-athletes,” he said. 

Pero nakikita natin, ‘pagka medyo nagi-ease up naman ‘yung situation, so baka pwede tayong magdagdag ng sports or sporting events, or pati siguro ng mga batang pwedeng lumahok,” he added.