‘BUKO’ NOT DEPED 11 exec says ‘buko’ is not official Palaro energy drink

For the record, there is no official Palarong Pambansa energy drink.

Department of Education (DepEd) Davao Region spokesperson Jenielito “Dodong” Atillo, on Thursday, April 26, clarified that no Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been officially signed yet relating to making a coconut water or ‘buko’ brand as the official energy drink for the athletes of Palarong Pambansa 2019 on April 28 to May 5 in Davao City.

This followed after Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary Manny Piñol recently announced via Facebook that ‘buko’ will take the centerstage as the official health and energy drink for the week-long sports conclave for secondary and elementary athletes.

Piñol, in his post, said coconut farmer-leader Laureano Callao, Jr. and his group has started talking with the organising committee of the Palarong Pambansa for the launching of the “Buko Vida Kiosk” on April 29 in the Palarong Pambansa 2019 to be held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao Campus in Mintal District.

“There was a meeting conducted but we did not confirm yet any further agreements since before we operate we need to have a documented material and as of the moment there is no Memorandum of Agreement referring that is already official,” Atillo said during the I-Speak Forum held at the City Hall of Davao on Thursday, April 26.

“It safe to say that it is already in the discussion board and as to what will be agreed, it is about to be released the soonest,” Atillo added.

Atillo, however, agrees with the idea of coconut water as the official energy drink for athletes it being naturally healthy and could also help the coconut farmers in Davao Region.

Once it is approved, Atillo said coconut farmers in the Davao Region are capable of supplying mass coconut for some 16,000 athletes.

“As I speak with the buko farmers, they said we have enough coconut to supply,” Atillo said.

Meantime, assistant city  administrator lawyer Lawrence Bantiding said the hosting of Palarong Pambansa 2019 in Davao City is 99 percent ready.

“We refer the missing one percent to the aquatic event. Although the swimming pool is already filled with water. As a matter of fact, there were delegations na nag test practice na,” he said.

Bantiding also said the city will try to finish the bleachers beside the pool but he assured that tents for spectators will be installed.

Apart from the venues, security augmentation was already established.

On Wednesday, April 25, security agencies including the Police Regional Office 11, Davao City Police office, Task Force Davao and Public Safety and Security Command Center held a send off for the big event.

PRO 11 Police Major Jason Baria, in an interview, said PRO 11 will deploy 4,000 personnel which will come from the entire region.