MANILA, Philippines – Some 10,000 children from 12 cities and provinces in the country – including internally displaced kids from war-torn Marawi City – participated in the Children’s Games organized by the Philippine Sports Commission-Philippine Sports Institute from May to November.
“We have 10,000 children playing with us since we launched the Children’s Games that has been cited by Unesco. We made 10,000 children happy and Unesco appreciated us for that,” PSC chair William “Butch” Ramirez said Wednesday during the Coordinators’ Meeting and Workshop at the PhilSports Complex.
“Hindi lang ito laro-laro,” added Ramirez. “May malaking implication [ito] sa values ng mga bata, lalong-lao na sa peacemaking.”
The Children’s Games is the centerpiece program for grassroots of the PSC-PSI. It was held in Baguio City, Benguet, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, and Bontoc in Luzon, with some 3,500 participants.
The Children’s Games were also staged in Naga, Cebu, Carcar, and mountain areas in the Visayas, drawing some 4,200 children. They were also held in Davao City and Iligan City in Mindanao, where 2,300 children participated.
Ramirez shrugged off criticisms on the Children’s Games, citing that PSC gives value on the children as the United Nations also recognizes every child’s right to play.
“The Constitution also mandated us to nurture the children, promote values formation thereby improving the citizens’ quality of life. Giving value to the children has an institutional foundation. The children are the future of the country,” Ramirez pointed out.
Meanwhile, a total of 23 grassroots coaching seminars have been held since January in the following areas: Basista, Pangasinan; Navotas City; Tagum City; Butuan City; Marawi City; Laoag, Ilocos Norte; Occidental Mindoro; Muntinlupa City; Vigan; Abra; Isabela, Kalinga, Ifugao; Dagupan City; Malolos, Bulacan; Quirino; Aurora; Abra; Cavite; Camarines Sur; Surigao del Norte; and Legazpi City.
The PSI also held the Smart Mapping Action Research Talent (Smart) ID Train the Trainers program in Tagum City, Puerto Princesa City, Vigan and Cebu City.
The PSI also conducted six consultative meetings in Marawi City, Occidental Mindoro, Surigao del Norte, Abra, Laoag and Cavite.
In line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to bring grassroots sports development in the periphery, the PSI also held a drug recovery program in Basista, Pangasinan; anti-drug campaign in Navotas City; and Palaro Kontra Droga at Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila.
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