TAGUM City will be home to 11,332 delegates for about a week when it hosts this year’s national finals of the Batang Pinoy.
The November 27 to December 2 meet features 600 events in 26 sports disciplines among athletes 17 years old and below, and marks the first national multi-sports tournament to be held under the leadership of President Duterte.
Philippine Sports Commissioner Celia Kiram disclosed during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate on Tuesday that the Chief Executive has been invited to be the guest of honor for the opening ceremony of the annual event being held at a total cost of P50 million.
“May possibility na dumating siya. Hopefully, the event will be graced by the President,” said Kiram.
No qualifying legs were held this year as had been the practice in the past since the new PSC leadership under chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez only assumed office last June.
“Since bago lang kami, one national tournament muna this year and then pag-aaralan further kung will be holding different legs in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao next year,” added the only lady commissioner in the PSC board.
Batang Pinoy program director Larry Domingo said the number of delegates increased this year following the government sports agency’s decision to raise the age bracket from the previous limit of 15 years old and below.
“Medyo marami ngayon because of that, at nagdagdag tayo ng events based on age, bracketing, and weight categories,” added Domingo, who joined Kiram and Mark Velasco of the Philippine Sports of Institute in the forum presented by San Miguel Beer, Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.