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Senator Franklin M. Drilon congratulated the winners in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa in his keynote message delivered at the Binirayan Sports Complex in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique Saturday afternoon.

”This begins your journey to a better life,” the senator said.

The senator further said that just like them the stories of the country’s sports heroes started with the Palarong Pambansa and it likewise did not come easily for them.

He also thanked the Department of Education officials and teachers for coaching the athletes and providing them good avenues to hone their talents and skills.

The senator told students about the importance of education as the greatest equalizer in life. He said that this was the reason why the Senate has the “Affordable Education for All Act”, seeking to provide full scholarship among tertiary students.

The proposal is being pushed to become a law before the year ends, according to Drilon.

He said that the Senate in the General Appropriations Act has allocated PHP8.3 billion for the free tertiary education.

The senator also noted that it was due to the unity in leadership under Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao that the hosting of this year’s Palaro was successful. “The people of Antique have united under the leadership of Governor Cadiao,” Drilon said.

Cadiao said with the end of a very exhilarating week, she would like to thank President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Senators Loren Legarda and Drilon, Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones and everybody for enabling Antique to host the Palarong Pambansa this year, which was the first for the province.

She said that through the Palaro there were friendships formed and memories that would stay in the hearts of the guests.

Meanwhile, the first place honor for the “Palaro Cleanest and Greenest Awards” went to the Negros Island Region with a cash prize of PHP30,000, Region 10 as second placer with trophy and PHP20,000; and Region IV A that received a trophy and PHP10,000 cash prize as a third placer.

The “Best Billeting Schools”top honors went to Tobias Fornier Central School and Dao Catholic High School while Col. Ruperto Abellon National High School and St. Augustine’s Academy of Patnongon Inc. were named second placers, and third place went to Governor Julian Pacificador National High School and M. Buycio Elementary School.