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Palaro enforces stricter measures vs age-cheating

April 23rd, 2009

04/21/2009 | 04:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Organizers of the Palarong Pambansa are enforcing more measures to ensure that age-cheating will no longer mar the conduct of the student games to be held on April 26-May 3 in Tacloban City.

Len Toledo, the national coordinator of the Department of Education Task Force on School Sports, on Tuesday said they have “refined” the measures in screening athletes to the meet.

He said starting this year, organizers will be using an Ultraviolet scanner to examine NSO copies of birth certificates and also require more signatories on the academic records of athletes to increase the culpability of school officials.

“We are doing this so that no one will attempt to cheat,” Toledo said yesterday at the PSA Forum. “The DepEd wants to protect the integrity of the Palaro.”

The Palaro was hit by a rash of age-cheating incidents in the 2006 edition in Naga City.

Toledo also said that the DepEd has acquired equipment that are up to international standards for use in this year’s Palaro, where about 6,000 athletes from 17 regions are expected to see action.

Although action begins on April 26, the opening ceremony will actually be held at 10 a.m. on April 28 with no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as guest of honor at the Leyte Sports Development Center (LSDC).

Leyte provincial sports coordinator Neil Baronda, who also attended in the weekly forum, said athletes from the participating regions have arrived in Tacloban as early as last week.

The LSDC, which has a rubberized track oval, will be home to centerpiece athletics, medal-rich swimming, volleyball, tennis and basketball. Baronda added that they have prepared alternative venues for basketball and tennis in the event of rain delays.

This year’s Palaro will mark the addition of elementary boxing in the calendar, along with girls’ arnis. –GMANews.TV

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