By Cha Monforte
Davao del Norte’s occasionally fiery Board Member Shirley Belen Aala stood Monday “to lambast in aid of legislation” about the “sleeping on cartons” of the provincial athletes when they arrived in Antique venue in the last Palarong Pambansa.
The athletes were also allegedly left by themselves without being ferried back to their respective places in the province when they came home and arrived in Davao City. Most of the province’s athletes, some are special child-athletes, are from the barrios as far as Talaingod. Some of them are accordingly not yet fully given of their fares.
In regular session attended by invited DepEd Davao del Norte schools division superintendent Dr. Josephine Fadul, Ed.D. and regional DepEd officials, the board member of Tagum City lambasted without naming anyone why the provincial athletes had to sleep on cardboards on the floor of classrooms for several days before getting their mattresses and were just left to fend for themselves when they arrived in Davao City.
Davao del Norte has 57 athletes of the 692-strong Davao Region delegation composed of athletes, coaches, officials and chaperones to the Palarong Pambansa 2017 held at San Jose Buenavista, Antique on April 23 to 29.
“What’s the budget (of the region) in the recent Palarong Pambansa? Did you receive it? Was it lacking? It’s time now for accounting,” Aala asked, adding that she really saw the athletes on pitiful sight when she was in Antique along with other board members.
She said she was just expressing herself as former teacher and a mother, explaining that parents have no qualm to give their cushions to their children even if they sleep on tattered mats.
That visibly wowed kibitzers in the gallery, and figuratively had their jaws dropped.
Aala was supported by Board Member Alfredo “Ticque” De Veyra, who asked why there was late procurement of beddings for the athletes.
“I don’t know why we are going backward now… Are we going back to stone age?” also asked De Veyra, who had gone for several times to Palaro as chess player during his student days. Currently, he is a national master.
DepEd XI quality assurance division chief Roy Enriquez, speaking as invited resource person of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, informed that they spent a total of P13.0581 million for the entire Palaro based on purchase requests as all transactions have not yet been fully liquidated.
The total budget was P13,058,362.11 from P9.1584 million downloaded funds from DepEd Central Office, P567,462.11 from available funds from 2016 Palaro, P1.7 million fund assistance from LGUs and P1,422,500 additional funds from DepEd Central Office.
Dr. Fadul explained that it was a thing beyond the control of DepEd XI with regards to the delayed beddings in Antique, adding that the DepEd Antique somehow failed to foresee the problem unlike the province’s hosting of Palaro 2015, where the provincial government lent out money to preempt it from arising.
She said that athletes after a wait were ferried by vehicles of Sto. Tomas LGU and expressed she was appreciative of the concerns relayed by some members of the provincial board.
She said that she was elated by the province’s rise of Palaro 2017’s overall ranking No. 7 from last year’s No. 10 ranking.
Asked by presiding Vice Gov. Alan “Aldo” Dujali if the P150,000 contribution of the provincial government is enough, Dr. Fadul said that it “was a great help but certainly lacking.”
BM Aala then picked it as a cue, and called for a need to make a project design aimed at increasing the Capitol’s contribution to the yearly Palarong Pambansa.
The provincial board had then a picture-taking with the invited resource persons.
Interviewed after the session, Dr. Fadul thanked anew and expressed elation that three athletes of the province were gold medalists and hence qualified to participate in the ASEAN games scheduled in December 2017 in Dubai.
She thanked the provincial board led by Vice Gov. Dujali for the concern and for everyone in the delegation for exerting their best in the great Palaro competition. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)