The Palarong Pambansa has been called off the first time in 19 years.
The threat of the spread of the novel coronavirus has compelled the Department of Education to announce its postponement yesterday.
Education officials felt that this year’s multi-sport event, the Palarong Pambansa and other regional events are in peril due to the threat of a possible spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
“We have been advised to take care of exposing our children to crowded places,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones said during a Senate inquiry.
The last time the Palaro was called off was in 2001, when it was slated in Tubod, Lanao del Norte. It was scrapped due to lack of funds and the peace and order situation in the area.
Briones added that the postponement is temporary.
“Right now, the policy is for a temporary postponement of all these activities because it will be drawing in learners, teachers, family members from all regions,” said Briones.
The Palarong Pambansa was supposed to take place in Marikina City in April.
Around 10,000 student-athletes from the country’s 17 regions are supposed to join.
So far, the Philippines has two confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, with one Chinese national, who was travelling from Wuhan, dying from the infection.
The Philippine Sports Commission was supposed to be involved with the planning and staging of the 2020 Palarong Pambansa.
The City of Marikina has assumed the responsibility to the host of the 2020 Palaro after Occidental Mindoro begged off from hosting the annual sporting event for student-athletes
The decision to withdraw from the hosting by Occidental Mindoro came following the devastation wrought by typhoon “Tisoy” last month.
This was supposed to be the first time Marikina City will be hosting the Palarong Pambansa in many years.