Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez is upbeat about the collaboration of the Diocese of Mati and other parishes in the Davao region for the holding of the Children’s Games.
The Unesco-cited program for children eight to twelve years old will be brought to Davao Oriental towns including Lupon and Cateel in October.
Ramirez, in a meeting with Diocese of Mati Bishop held at a downtown Davao City restaurant over the weekend, said, “We will have Children’s Games in dioceses of Mati, Tagum, Davao del Sur and Samal. Let’s start it here first before we think of replicating it in Luzon and the Visayas.”
However, PSC consultant Dr. Serge Opeña clarified that the Children’s Games in these areas will still be open to non-Catholic children as the program welcomes Lumads, Christians and Muslims alike.
A Children’s Games of this kind was launched in Davao City last year wherein 500 children gathered to play and foster friendship despite their different religions, culture and social status.
“Kini nga programa, ang gobyerno makig-uban sa parish priests and catechists para sa kabataan (The government and the parish priests and catechists will work together for the benefit of the children),” Opeña said, adding that the PSC will shoulder expenses for food, shirts and equipment needed for the non-competitive Games while partner dioceses and parishes shall provide the venue and manpower.
He also said that prior to the Games, a training for Ate and Kuya volunteers, who will be leading the children during the event, will also be held.
Bishop Apigo, for his part, thanked the PSC for its initiative to reach out to their Diocese and the people of their province.
Also present during the meeting were Fr. Pete Lamata of St.Francis Assisi Parish, St. Michael’s College of Padada director Sister Cherrie Carote, Fr. Alfe Alimbon of the Diocese of Mati, Cherry Sarona of St. Michael College of Padada, PSC consultant Ed Fernandez, Philippine Sports Institute Mindanao coordinator Pochollo Elegino and Ateneo de Davao University director for Community Engagement and Advocacy Council Mark Paul Samante. (PSC-PSI)