MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Saturday formally led the opening ceremony of the 2018 Philippine National Games in Cebu City, urging the public to use sports as an avenue to keep away from societal ills such as criminality, corruption, and illegal drugs.
“Remember that sports is an effective avenue to instill discipline in our youth [to keep them] away from these societal ills,” Duterte said in his speech at Cebu City Sports Complex.
Duterte was "proud" to say that the spirit of the Filipino athlete is “alive”, noting that events such as the Philippine National Games deepens the nation’s commitment to foster sportsmanship and integrity towards sports excellence and global competitiveness.
The President took note of the efforts of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and its partners for successfully organizing the event.
He also urged the PSC as well as local government units (LGUs) to intensify their collaboration with their private partners to further champion various Philippine sports.
“This will deepen our nation’s commitment to foster sportsmanship and integrity towards sports excellence and global competitiveness,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Duterte called on Filipino athletes to continue seeking support from the PSC through its various development programs as it would help them realize their potential.
“May this occasion serve as a platform to hone everyone’s physical prowess and promote patriotism within our athletic communities,” Duterte said.
Duterte also expressed confidence that the participants will demonstrate teamwork and camaraderie as they compete with each other.
“These principles are essential in forming an active citizenry that is capable of steering the Philippines towards a better and more prosperous future,” Duterte said.
“To all the competitors here today, you have my full support as you secure your place in your respective fields,” he added, wishing them luck.
Instituted under Executive Order (EO) No. 163 on March 3, 1994 signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos, the PNG is launched with the aim of addressing the Philippines’ need for sports development programs alongside the government’s goal to harness the full potential of Filipino athletes through sports activities held nationwide. (PNA)
By Azer Parrocha