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The extent of the preparations Puerto Princesa had undertaken in its hosting of the forthcoming 2008 Palarong Pambansa will be put to test when Palawan’s capital city holds the MIMAROPA (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan) regional meet starting Friday.

Like the Palaro, set April 20 to 27, the main hub of the MIMAROPA meet will be the sprawling Puerto Princesa Sports Complex, which, along with other playing venues, has undergone major face-lift to meet the standards set by the supervising Department of Education.

“Like what we promised, renovations of all the competition venues have been completed by the end of last month and the city is raring and ready for the hosting of the Palaro which we are hosting for the first time,” former councilor and now the city’s public information officer Alroben Goh said.

“As envisioned by Mayor Edward Hagedorn, the MIMAROPA serves as the dry run as to the fitness of all competition sites, although I must say that the DepEd has already certified their worthiness,” Goh said, adding that some P60 million was spent in the infrastructure requirements for the hosting.

Some 17,000 guests, 8,000 of them athletes, coaches and delegation officials are expected to troop to the city to participate and watch the games, making this year’s edition of the gathering of the country’s student athletes the biggest in terms of attendance.

“This could be the biggest yet Palaro in the annual games’ history for the simple reason that Puerto Princesa is one of the tourists attractions in our country,” said commissioner Eric Loretizo of the Philippine Sports Commission which is helping the hoist city in the conduct of the Palaro.

Besides the PPSC, other venues that had been spruced up were the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority facilities, WESCOM Mini-gym, Power Zone Badminton Courts, Palawan National High School baseball grounds and gym, Palawan State University arenas, People’s Ampitheater, Palawan State University aned the Air Force tennis courts.

Eddie G. Alinea | Manila Times

Even the billeting areas for the athletes, coaches and officials of the 17 regional delegations had undergone improvements, especially in the electricity, water and other sanitation requirements, Goh said.

“Mayor Hagedorn has assured that all playing venues and billeting schools are located within the city area for the comfort of all the participants and officials,” he said.

Source: Manila Times

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