The city schools division office of the Department of Education (DepEd) will not be endorsing any individual or group to represent Puerto Princesa in the MIMAROPA Regional Athletic Association (RAA) meet in March this year.
Even if they offer to shoulder the expenses, City DepEd division information officer Gina Francisco said Tuesday that their stand is to deny endorsement to anyone or any group that will travel to Romblon on March 8-12 to compete.
“Ang stand ng schools division superintendent is we will not endorse any group or somebody na pupunta doon to represent the DepEd Puerto Princesa City. Hindi namin sila i-e-endorse. Walang endorsement na gagawin kasi ito nga ‘yong stand natin — hindi tayo magpapadala ng delegates even at their own expense,” Francisco said to Palawan News.
Francisco said it will be very risky for the delegates to attend the regional sports meet because of their possible exposure to the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 during their travel to Romblon.
She said the proposed itinerary for the delegates before the city government announced it will not participate was Puerto Princesa to Manila Port, bus ride to Batangas Port where they will stay overnight before they leave for Romblon the next day.
There is a lot of time to be exposed to Covid-19, she said.
In explaining this, Francisco said the cancellation was not about the budget since the city had already prepared P9 million for the delegates’ uniforms, logistics, transportation, supplies, training, and others.
What they are after, she said, is the safety of the athletes and the sports officials who will go with them.
“Kami rin naman sa division of Puerto Princesa nalungkot kasi this is the first time na hindi tayo sasali sa MIMAROPA RAA meet, pero wala tayong magagawa. Hindi natin puwedeng ilagay sa alanganing kalagayan ‘yong health and safety ng mga bata,” she said.
She also said they are discouraging any activity from being held this month which would gather large crowds such as Junior-Senior Prom, Parents-Teachers Association days and meetings, or family days.
Schools that have prepared activities earlier should reschedule them, she said.
On February 6, the city government informed the City DepEd through a letter that it will no longer send its delegation to the MIMAROPA RAA meet due to the Covid-19.
The letter was signed by Atty. Arnel Pedrosa. It cited the safety of the delegates as the reason for cancelling its participation.