By Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY (PIA) – – It’s all systems go for the opening of the weeklong 2019 Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet at the Marcos Stadium on Wednesday.

Faivo Bartolome, sports consultant of Ilocos Norte, said the provincial government of Ilocos Norte and the Department of Education-Schools Division of Ilocos Norte (DepEd-SDOIN) are ready to welcome the expected 10,300 delegates to the prestigious regional sports tournament re-slated on March 6-11.

Originally, the R1AA Meet was set on March 3-8 but it was postponed due to the increasing number of measles cases in the region.

Upon the recommendation of the Department of Health-Regional Office 1 (DOH-RO1), the R1AA board of directors decided to delay the regional sports event to ensure the health and safety of the delegates, and to allot time for sufficient immunization of communities at billeting schools and playing venues.

Bartolome assured that the preparations for the regional sporting event are the same, and he declared that the province is “one hundred percent ready.”

Starting Feb. 28, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has been conducting immunization activities to protect the athletes and the local community from possible transmission of measles.

Dr. Rodolfo Ragadi of PHO- Ilocos Norte said, “The PHO is very busy since we persistently visit the areas in Ilocos Norte, particularly in the billeting areas and playing venues, to provide vaccination and to prevent the spread of measles. I hope that other provinces also do this for their athletes’ preparation in the R1AA Meet.”

Meanwhile, Schools Division Superintendent Vilma Eda encourages an environment-friendly conduct of the event by requiring the delegates to bring their personal water bottle, food container, and abandoning the utilization of single-use plastics.

Lawyer Revsee A. Escobedo, assistant secretary for procurement service and project management service of the DepEd, is expected to grace the opening of the tournament. (JNPD/FGL,PIA-1)