Phl Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez and commissioner Ramon Fernandez yesterday confirmed Duterte’s attendance in the weeklong event that serves as the national championships of the participating national sports associations (NSAs). Philstar.com/File Photo
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte will grace the opening ceremony of the Philippine National Games slated May 19-25 in Cebu, marking the second straight time the Chief Executive will serve as a keynote speaker of a national sporting event this year.
Phl Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez and commissioner Ramon Fernandez yesterday confirmed Duterte’s attendance in the weeklong event that serves as the national championships of the participating national sports associations (NSAs).
“The President loves sports and he wants to inspire our young athletes,” said Ramirez.
Duterte also graced the opening of the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan, Ilocos Sur last month. He also served as the guest speaker in the Palaro in San Jose, Antique last year.
Fernandez, also the commissioner-in-charge of the PNG, said they have also invited Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco Jr., Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano as well as Phl Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas and POC sec-gen Patrick Gregorio to the opener at the Abellana Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, Fernandez said four referees sent by the World Karate Federation will officiate and hold free seminars in the PNG, which will feature 20,000 athletes, coaches and officials.
The PSC will also hand out incentives in the form of sports program and equipment to the top five best performing local government units with the champion getting P5 million and the second to fifth receiving P4m, P3m, P2m and P1m, respectively.
More than 20,000 athletes, coaches and officials have trooped to this city considered by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Events on tap are track and field, swimming, archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, boxing, chess, football, futsal, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, wrestling and wushu.
Aero gymnastics, dancesports and pencak silat are calendared as demonstration events while differently-abled athletes will also hold their side of the competition.