Gov. Amado I. Espino, III (8th from left) together with Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr (8th from right) and mayors/vice mayors of 14 towns/city out of 27 participating local government units (LGUs) flash the Number One sign during the opening ceremony of the 1st Pangasinan Inter-LGU Unity Games 2017 on Mmarch 16 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC). (Photo by: Bob Sison/Ruby R. Bernardino)
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan- – -Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III expressed optimism that the 1st Pangasinan Inter-LGU Unity Games 2017 will not only serve as an activity where government officials and employees can display their prowess on sports but a venue where friendships can develop and good practices can be learned.
In his speech during the opening ceremonies on March 16 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) gymnasium, the Governor noted that the project is primarily aimed at uniting Pangasinan through friendly games/match.
Schedules, according to the provincial chief executive, will vary based on brackets and will be conducted in different venues citing that Pangasinan hospitality will be displayed once again as the games progress.
In stating this, he appealed to LGU officials to open their doors for other participating towns and cities and showcase their best practices to be replicated by other LGUs, as well.
Earlier, the Governor said that all sports activities will redound for his desire not just to unite Pangasinan but also to promote local tourism and ensure a drug-free Pangasinan through friendly match and competition.
Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr., on the other hand, commended and thanked all 27 participating LGUs for cooperating with the provincial government to ensure success of the project.
As such, Calimlim stressed that the unity games, which was conceptualized by Gov. Pogi, is the answer to the long-time dream of former governor now 5th district representative Amado T. Espino, Jr. to unite Pangasinan through an activity that will help converge LGU officials and employees.
Meanwhile, Provincial Sports Consultant Modesto Operania said that the unity games will feature two sports events specifically basketball for men and volleyball for women.
Participating teams, Operania said, were divided into two divisions based on the income classification of the LGUs. Division 1 is composed of component cities and towns with 1st, 2nd and 3rd income class while Division 2 is made up of LGUs under 4th and 5th income class.
It can be recalled that the present administration earlier launched a similar sports activity— the 1st Governor’s Cup Inter-Town Basketball Tournament— involving young cagers aged 18 to 24. The tourney is currently in its last games of its quarterfinal phase and about to start the semi-final rounds. (Ruby R. Bernardino)