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EVRAA starts, Gomez promises to probe why not all athletes’ uniforms were delivered

NAVAL, BILIRAN – The annual Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) meet has started on the afternoon of Sunday, February 5 and will end on February 11, 2017. The delegates, around 7,000 athletes, coaches and Department of Education officials from 13 parts of the region, were warmly welcomed into the province by Governor Gerardo “Gerry Boy” Espina Jr. and
his nephew, Naval Mayor Gerard Espina. The keynote speaker is DepEd Usec. Tonisito MC Umali, who said he was captivated by the many natural tourist spots of the province. He also confessed
to the audience that he was excited to see actor Richard Gomez, now Ormoc Mayor, in the flesh. The mayor, together with the vice-mayor and councilors were in Naval to show support for the
Ormoc athletes.

On the other hand, Mayor Richard Gomez was dismayed when told that some uniforms for the athletes, especially the shirts, did not arrive. He promised to look into the anomaly, saying that the receiving personnel should not have received it if it was not a complete delivery. Ormoc City sent of 670 coaches, trainers and athletes to the EVRAA on Wednesday, February 7. Mayor Richard Gomez, in his pep talk to the athletes, said that with the LGU’s all-out support to them, he expects the athletes to do perform well and even better. In 2016, the Ormoc contingent ranked third in the region. Mayor Gomez, an athlete himself, said the athletes should be disciplined, listen to their coaches, sleep early, and put their hearts and mind on the game. He added they were
giving them the best that the City could afford, because they wanted Ormoc athletes to shine. “The LGU, together with the DepEd, gave funds for your preparation. You have good equipment and good shoes for your sports, because the difference between gold, silver and bronze can be pair of rubber shoes,” the mayor said in the vernacular.

Also present during the sendoff program were Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr., council chair on sports Vincent Rama, and council chair on education Nolito Quilang. Vice Mayor Locsin and councilor Rama, in their speeches, bade the athletes good luck and congratulated the coaches for their perseverance in developing the skills of the children. Vice Mayor Locsin also congratulated the parents for supporting their children and allowing them to join the EVRAA. Sherlita Palma, assistant city schools superintendent, said that for the first time in years, the city government has garbed the athletes in complete uniform, giving them the right play shoes, and backpacks to boot. That is why, the mayor was disturbed to learn some shirts were lacking.
The City, through the local school board, allocated P 6.8-million for the contingent. This is lower than the P 8-million allocation of the past year. Ms Palma also cautioned the athletes not to hardheaded and should not drink the water in their billeting area, nor use it to brush their teeth, to avoid a bad stomach. Instead, they would provide them with purified water. Palma said
they have been forewarned about this.

The preparation for the EVRAA is spearheaded by Ernesto Barquio, DepEd sports coordinator. During the final meeting of the committee on sports, Mayor Gomez request Barquio that since the EVRAA is an annual event, that they should start planning for the next year soon after the games end. Gold medalists of this year’s EVRAA will be the city’s bet for the coming Palarong Pambansa. Ms
Palma said that they also received a memo that the Palarong Pambansa could be transferred from Antique in Aklan to Dumaguete City, but a final decision on the matter has yet to be reached. By Lalaine M. Jimenea

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