The provincial government and the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Iloilo have teamed up to establish an integrated and comprehensive sports development program.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr, in a press conference after the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Thursday, said the agreement is a continuation of the provincial government’s varsity program last year.
“It’s a slowly developing program because before we have no varsity program. In that MOA we take on the responsibility to support their sports program. We want it to be the training ground for the athletes of the nation,” he said.
Defensor said 15 schools have agreed to join the program.
These include the Pototan National Comprehensive High School, Passi National High School (NHS), Pavia NHS, Iloilo NHS, Oton NHS, Bingawan NHS, Dumangas NHS, Guimbal NHS, Lambunao NHS, Leon NHS, Estancia NHS, Igbaras NHS, Leon Central Elementary School (ES), Guimbal Central ES and San Enrique Central School.
He said the idea was to provide an additional venue for development as before the exposure of schools was only during congressional meets.
Under the agreement, the provincial government through the Center for Sports and Physical Fitness (CSPF) will provide minimum logistical and technical support to school sports officials, coaches, trainers, and athletes.
The CSPF was created during the incumbency of the governor’s father, the former governor Arthur Defensor Sr., in 2015 as an implementing arm of the Province of Iloilo Physical Fitness and Sports Development Council.
Under the MOA, financial assistance for training and participation of varsity athletes will be provided by the province using its Special Education Fund.
The agreement also calls for the establishment of Outstanding Athletes Program which aims to retain and
develop homegrown talents and excellent athletes.
Further, the Iloilo Sports Complex facilities can be used for free by coaches, trainers, and athletes in basketball, swimming, and volleyball, during their training period.
Meanwhile, the athletes who are members of the school’s varsity team are asked to maintain grades and class attendance, make themselves available during training and competition, and give total commitment to the success of their team.
Signatories to the agreement were Governor Defensor and principals of the 15 public elementary and high schools in the province and witnessed by Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Roel F. Bermejo and Ma. Janelyn T. Fundal of the Iloilo Sports Development and Management Office. (PNA)