NAVAL, Biliran -- “Winning a trophy or taking awards for this year’s EVRAA is secondary to safety, the primary standard of the EVRAA Meet,” Dr. Ramir Uytico, regional director of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Eastern Visayas told the officiating officials and coaches in a solidarity conference a day before the opening of the annual regional athletic competition.

The 2017 Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) Meet, anchored on the theme “Bracing Sports, Breaking Barriers, and Braving to LEAD” is hosted by the Province of Biliran and has officially started with a grand opening ceremony on Sunday afternoon, February 5, at the Biliran Provincial Sports Complex in Barangay Larrazabal.

Uytico emphasized the safety of all the athletes, officiating officials and coaches of the 13 participating athletic delegations in Eastern Visayas in his message during the solidarity conference held at the Naval Gymnasium on Saturday, February 4.

The Biliran provincial police office issued security prohibitions during the week-long holding of the 2017 EVRAA within the Biliran Sports Complex especially during the grand opening, such as no deadly weapons like firearms and bladed weapons, no back pack, no umbrella, no liquors and drugs inside the billeting and playing venues, curfew hours in billeting areas at 10 in the evening, and only transparent raincoat is allowed inside the sports complex.

Uytico said his priority is the safety of the athletes, officiating officials, and coaches.

“Iasa man na nato atong trophy kung dia bakol na atong atleta,” (What is the use of our trophy if our athletes are disabled), Dr. Uytico reminded the participants of the solidarity conference.

He also reminded the group to cooperate with the host and to understand what is lacking such that if the Biliran division could not provide, then he urged them to fill the gap.

He reminded not to post on social media or report to private media any irregularities encountered for the duration of EVRAA Meet as these are tests of “solidarity” of the DepEd family in the region.

“Please report it to the proper authority,” he said since the complaint will likely land and be solved solely by the respective heads of delegations.

The youthful-looking DepEd-Eastern Visayas chief likewise told the officiating officials to maintain honesty and fairness as this will define the character and competence of the people of DepEd-Eastern Visayas with the holding of the 2017 EVRAA. (PIA)