LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Office 1 Officer-in-Charge Tolentino G. Aquino has announced the postponement of the staging of the Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) meet, which is supposedly scheduled from February 19-26 here.
The pronouncement of the DepEd OIC regional director came as a precautionary measure to prevent the risk of transmission of the highly contagious novel CoronaVirus (nCoV). As of date, the Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed the third nCoV case in the country.
“We reiterate the suspension of the staging of national and regional activities (this February) that involve inter-division ad inter-region that involves a big number of student and teacher participants,” said OIC DepEd Regional Director Aquino, in an interview, held shortly after he met Governor Amado I. Espino III on February 5, where he presented the DepEd’s decision regarding the R1AA staging.
After the meeting with the governor, the DepEd regional director said the staging of R1AA has been re-scheduled on March 31 – April 7, but still the situation concerning nCoV, which could post serious health security concerns among the participants, will still be considered.
In a letter sent to the DepEd regional director on February 4, the provincial chief executive sought to reset the staging of the regional meet to a most auspicious schedule in the future.
The governor noted in his letter that the nCoV cases identified in the country have prompted the DOH to order everyone to take precautionary measures to include the adoption of more hygienic practices, avoiding crowded places, and even self quarantine.
Through Provincial Resolution No. 139-2020, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province has also expressed its sentiments, suggesting the possible postponement of the regional meet.
On the other hand, Governor Espino, has assured full support to the staging of the R1AA in the province.
“The Province of Pangasinan is honored to be chosen as host of the Region 1 Athletic Association Meet for this year and has given its full support especially to the (host schools division) DepEd Pangasinan I in preparing for this event. Municipalities and schools in the province with identified billeting and sports areas have also been jointly working for the successful conduct of the annual sports activity,” the letter of Gov. Espino to the DepEd regional office states.
DepEd thru its Management Committee (ManComm) has issued the recent DepEd Memo No. 15, s. 2020 which states that : (1.) All national activities that involve learners and teachers are suspended in February, and (2.) All regional, division and district level activities that involve learners and teachers need clearance from the local DOH before these be conducted in February.
The DepEd is closely monitoring the nCoV problem weekly, and shall update when will the suspension be lifted or extended.
/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca