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Aside from focusing on sports, Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn reminded the participants of this year’s MIMAROPARAA Meet to love and protect our environment as he delivered his message during the opening program of the MIMAROPARAA Meet at the Ramon V. Mitra Jr. Sports Complex yesterday.

He mentioned that the participants should also be aware of the existing city ordinances and regulations concerning environment protection.

“Sports is a unifying force and has always been close to my heart”, Mayor Hagedorn expressed his warm welcome and strong support to this year’s regional sports event.

What the city mayor said was evident as the seven competing divisions namely Calapan City, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan, and Puerto Princesa enthusiastically marched side-by-side to grace the opening parade.

Puerto Princesa Schools Division Superintendent, Servillano Arzaga also gave his welcome remarks. He said that hosting MIMAROPA Meet for the second time will introduce the City of Puerto Princesa as the Sports Tourism Capital of the Philippines. Aside from this year’s MRAA Meet, the city will also host the forthcoming 2008 Palarong Pambansa for the first time.

Arzaga also said that sports should be an instrument in promoting peace and economic development in the region. It has been observed that the competition venues have improved in terms of infrastructures and economic development.

“There’s unity in MIMAROPA, they disregard politics for education and sports,” Usec Frankiln Sunga represented DepEd Jesli A. Lapus remarked.

After seeing Puerto Princesa Sports Complex, Sunga affirmed why the place was chosen to host the regional and national sports events.

“Play fairly, win at a gentlemanly manner, and lose with dignity,” said Sunga as an advice to all the athletes from the different delegations.

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