News Release

President Duterte opens Palarong Pambansa 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Southeast Asian Games multi-medalist Elma Muros Posadas and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist in weightlifting Hidilyn Diaz on the sidelines of the Palarong Pambansa 2018 opening ceremony at the Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur on April 15, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Bantay, Ilocos Sur — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, April 15, hailed the young Filipino athletes joining the 2018 Palarong Pambansa here as he formally opened the annual multi-sports event.

“To the student athletes who have flown all the way from their provinces to compete and represent their respective schools and regions, congratulations,” he said in his speech delivered at President Elpidio Quirino Stadium here.

“The fact that you are here with us today is enough proof of your determination and excellence in your chosen sports, and that makes all of you winners and champions already,” he added.

The President encouraged the athletes from 17 regions of the country to embody good values and enhance their skills noting that their participation in the national sports event “is the beginning of your greater participation in nation-building.”

“I look forward to your more significant contributions to society in the days to come,” he said.

While devoting themselves in sports, Duterte reminded the athletes to do their best to excel in their studies as well.

“Your ability to balance academics and your other interests measures your aptitude for skills such as multi-tasking, time management and decision-making—skills that you will need as you take on greater responsibilities in the future,” he stressed.

The Chief Executive then called on the parents to support their children as they discover themselves and explore the limitless possibilities for their growth and development.

He pointed out that “sports serves as an avenue to divert the youth from illegal drugs, criminality and other lawless acts.”

“We in government continue our campaign to eradicate these social ills to ensure a safe and progressive tomorrow for you and for the next generations,” he said.

“Rest assured that this administration will never stop working hard to make the Philippines a better nation,” he added.

Duterte noted that government could not solve all the problems alone and asked for public’s participation in making the administration’s plans and programs tangible.

Meanwhile, the President expressed gratitude to the province of Ilocos Sur in its efforts to make the event a sucess.

He encouraged the organizers and hosts to take the sports competition as an opportunity to promote Ilocano culture and the history of Ilocos Sur which celebrates its bicentennial anniversary this year.

Duterte said Palarong Pambansa serves as a training ground for future leaders and nation-builders whose values and principles are founded on perseverance, discipline, teamwork, integrity and love of country.

He said the government remains steadfast in promoting physical education, encouraging sports programs and supporting athletes, especially as they compete in international events.

The President was accompanied by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Education Secretary Leonor Briones.###(PND)