DUMAGUETE CITY – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will add foreign flavor in the next staging of the POC-PSC Philippine National Games.
PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez said Friday that they will invite participants in the Southeast Asian region in selected sports to compete in the third PNG next year.
“The future of the PNG is we will open this to our SEA Games rivals to make it more attractive,” said Gomez. “Next year, the PNG will have a foreign participation.”
PSC chairman Richie Garcia said the sports agency has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia and part of the understanding is they will invite them to compete in the PNG.
“Maybe in athletics, swimming and in some sports,” said Garcia. “This will increase the level of competition.”
The PNG is an open tryout for all Filipinos who wish to be part of the national team. Garcia stressed it will remain that way, adding that attracting foreign participants will only boost the level of competition in the annual event.
The second edition of the PNG is being held here with 24 sports calendared in the province of Negros Oriental while 14 are being played in satellite venues namely Laguna, Paranaque, Pasig, Manila and Marikina.
Garcia said the PNG is an integral part of their sports programs it provides a venue for other athletes who wish be part of the national team and at the same time keep our PHL athletes on their toes.
“Kahit members na sila ng national team, huwag silang kampante baka masilat sila ng mga taga-probinsya,” said Garcia, adding that in the first PNG held in Bacolod City, they discovered athletes in cycling and beach volleyball that became part of the Philippine team.
Meanwhile, Gomez said wushu and futsal athletes will conduct an outreach program on Friday in Tayasan, a town in Negros Oriental that was severely hit by a strong earthquake early this year.
Gomez said the futsal team will teach the kids how to play the sport while the wushu squad will be donating sports equipment.
“This is also one reason why we wanted to hold the PNG here, to support their community through sports,” said Gomez.