Gun ban in Ilocos Sur ensures security of Palarong Pambansa 2018

VIGAN CITY – Ilocos Sur must be free from any firearm-related incidents during the hosting of the 2018 Palarong Pambansa (National Games), stated Ronald dela Rosa, Police Director General of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in his memorandum to the regional director of PNP Region 1, and disseminated to local media on April 4.

This was issued in answer to the memorandum from the PNP Region 1 dated March 21, 2018 on the suspension of Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) for a period of nine days in the province effective April 14 to 22, 2018.

“Only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and other law enforcement agencies (LEAS) who are performing official duties and with proper agency-prescribed uniforms will be allowed to carry firearms. This is part of the security preparations to ensure that the national games are free from firearms-related incidents and safe for the populace, as well as local and foreign tourists,” the memo said.

“This directive shall be implemented in consonance with the Enhanced Managing Police Operations in close coordination with the AFP, other LEAs, and local government units.”

To ensure the security of the delegations from the 17 regions of the country, there are two police officers assigned per school. Members of the Barangay Tanod and Barangay Peace Action Team of the towns and cities will guard the athletes where they are billeted 24 hours a day, said Pol Sr Supt Jovencio Badua, Jr, Police Provincial Director of Ilocos Sur, who earlier announced to local media that there will be gun ban during the hosting of the nation’s biggest sports event of the youth this year.

Provincial Board Member Efren Rafanan, Sr., filed his draft resolution in the April 3 regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which was unanimously approved, asking heads of local government units to lead private groups, residents, and government agencies in their areas in making sure the delegates are not abused in their transportation fares or goods they purchase. The safety of the food and water they buy must also be secured.

The Palarong Pambansa is a yearly sports event of student-athletes in elementary and high school from the country’s 17 regions, organized and governed by the Department of Education (DepEd). It is where the regional winners compete in 20 sports disciplines.

The Palaro seeks to promote Physical Education and sports as an integral part of the Basic Education curriculum for holistic development of the youth. It inculcates the spirit of discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, sportsmanship, and other values inherent in sports. It promotes and achieves peace by means of sports. It widens the base for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure of elementary pupils and secondary students to serve as a feeder to the National Sports Association (NSA) for international competitions. And it provides a database for a valid and universal basis to further improve the school sports development programs, according to Wikipedia.

Ilocos Sur, particularly Vigan became the host of the 1953 and 1973 national games called Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games or BPISAA which first game was held in Manila in 1948, according to Wikipedia. (Imelda C. Rivero/ICR/PIA1-Ilocos Sur)