MANILA — In its commitment to sports development for young Filipinos, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Little League Baseball Philippines (LLP) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will boost the development of baseball programs for elementary students in the country.

The MOA aims to provide baseball trainings and rulebooks to DepEd coaches and technical official and opens opportunity for Elementary Palarong Pambansa Champions to participate in international competitions.

“Sa programa po na ito, inaasahan natin na magiging komprehensibo at makatutulong ito upang mapalakas ang paglago ng baseball sa ating mga pampublikong mababa at mataas na paaralan. Ang ating mga mag-aaral, mga coaches, P.E. teachers ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na ma-train in partnership with our LLP. Inaasahan po natin ngayon na sa paglakas ng ating baseball teams ay puwedeng-puwede na itong makipagkumpetensya sa ibang bansa,” DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Tonisito M.C. Umali said.

Based on the MOA, DepEd will be responsible for appointing representatives to the Palaro Baseball Technical Committee who shall cooperate with LLP Baseball officials regarding the conduct of nationwide tournaments.

The Department will also assist in the dissemination of information to all regional sports coordinators regarding the rules of the game; assist the winners of the elementary Palarong Pambansa Champion (baseball division) in travel arrangements and school clearances for their participation in the Asia-Pacific Regional Baseball championship and world series; assist LLP in coordinating with concerned national sports associations as far as the technical management of the games is concerned; and oversee the conduct of technical officials training/seminars and technical management of the tournament.

“Baseball is a sport where height doesn’t really matter but the precision, hand and eye coordination [of the players], as well as teamwork make a difference. Sana naman po with this wide grassroots-based program maisasama na ang Pilipinas as one of the top baseball teams in the world,” LLP District Administrator Atty. Jose Luis Gomez said.

As for the role of the LLP, they will assist in the registration with Little League International of all DepEd players who participate in the School, District, Regional and National (Palaro) sporting tournaments.

They will also provide coaches with rulebooks, training materials and resources of Little League International in order to be able to conduct a solid development program and an efficient and safe tournament. LLP is solely responsible for the funds arising from providing coaches with rulebooks and training materials.

In addition, they will provide an opportunity for the champion of the Elementary Palarong Pambansa to represent the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific Regional Baseball championship (at the athlete’s expense). If they win this tournament, they will be sent to compete in the World Series in California, USA at the expense of Little League International.

“With the signing of this MOA, we hope that our performance when we join leagues or competitions outside of the country will further be enhanced and improved. With the donation of 100 baseball bats a while ago we are off to a great start in the improvement of the game of baseball in the country,” Umali said. PNA/