SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 6 (PIA) -- A total of 1,281 security forces in La Union are being deployed to ensure maximum safety of the delegates and visitors to the surfing competition in San Juan town as part of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
In the send-off ceremony held on Nov. 26 at the Marangal Grandstand in La Union Police Provincial Office, PBGen. Joel S. Orduna, commander of Task Group La Union and regional director of the Police Regional Office 1, said the security forces come from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Office of Civil Defense to include the provincial and local governments in La Union.
"We are ready to ensure smooth and efficient delivery of the best and high quality service for the SEA Games" Orduna said.
From Dec. 2 to 12, some 60 surfers from six participating countries are competing the said game. These countries are Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
In his message read by La Union Vice Gov. Mario Ortega, Gov. Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega III said the provincial government of La Union is more than excited to be chosen as the venue of surfing of the international sporting event.
"It gives us much pride and honor as it validates our name as the premier surfing destination, not only in the Philippines, but in the whole world," the governor said.
He also underscored that La Union's hosting is said to be historic as this is the first time that surfing is included in the SEA Games.
Further, Ortega sees an opportunity to promote the whole province while the surfing events are ongoing.
"By becoming venue to the SEA Games, we also drumbeat our efforts in attracting tourists and investors in line with our vision to become the "Heart of Agri-tourism in Northern Luzon by 2025," he said.
In closing, he said "Indeed with our unity and camaraderie, we win as one," highlighting this year's theme for the SEA Games.
For his part, San Juan Mayor Arturo Valdriz said their town is privileged to host the event especially that some homegrown surfers from San Juan are also part of the Philippine surfing team.
"I hope that no untoward incidents will happen as we showcase La Union as a peaceful and beautiful province," Valdriz said in Iloco language.
The surfing competition in the "surfing capital of the North" already started on Dec. 2 with the qualifying rounds. (JCR/JNPD/PIA La Union)