The Department of Education is considering hosting a virtual Palarong Pambansa meet to adapt to the current situation brought by the pandemic.

DepEd Secretariat’s Joel Erestain said they are already finalizing this proposal before elevating it for approval to the Inter-Agency Task Force as local sports, as with the rest of the world, still continue to grapple with strict health protocols for people’s safety.

If approved, this will be the first time in Palaro’s long and rich history that the multisport grassroots event will be held online.

However, it would not be a full spectrum of the sporting event, which caters to elementary and secondary student-athletes across the country.

“Our primordial concern will always be the safety of the children,” Erestain said in Filipino in Tuesday’ Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

Erestain said the plan is complicated since health protocols keep changing to adjust with the country’s current health status particularly with the discovery of a new variant of the virus from other countries.

But Erestain said they have already identified sports that are feasible to hold online and without the risk of student-athletes getting exposed to the virus. Among those they are considering to include are sports that can be videotaped or easily measured.

There might also be an age limit for participants.

Erestain also said the idea also needed logistical measures, but the Palaro Board is evaluating the plan thoroughly.

First held in 1948, Palaro has been a source of talents for the national team. It was cancelled last year due to the pandemic where Marikina City was supposed to be host.

Davao City hosted the last Palaro in 2019.

Source: Manila Bulletin (