CRAA is now SRAA, says DepEd

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 January) – In a move that is apparently long overdue, the Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12 has adopted a new “brand name” for the area’s athletic delegation starting with this year’s regional meet and the Palarong Pambansa.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, DepEd Region 12 director, said Tuesday they renamed the region’s athletic delegation to the Soccsksargen Regional Athletic Association (SRAA) from the previous Cotabato RAA (CRAA) in compliance with the provisions of Executive Order (EO) 36 issued in 2001 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

EO 36 provided for the reorganization of the administrative regions of Mindanao, with Region 12 comprising the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The official said Section 4 of EO 36 specifically provided for the renaming of the reconfigured region from then Central Mindanao and Cotabato to the Soccsksargen Region.

The Regional Development Council of Region 12 had declared Soccsksargen as the region’s official name, he said.

“This (SRAA) is our new brand name, our new identity and image,” he said in media forum in Koronadal City.

Farnazo said they decided to change the regional athletic delegation’s name after concerned parties called the attention of DepEd Region 12 regarding the provisions of EO 36.

Before such information was presented to them, he admitted that the DepEd regional office was quite confused as to the identity of the region.

“The EO was signed way back in 2001 so we’re actually 13 years behind with this move. But we’re doing this to clear up the confusion on our identity once and for all,” he said.

With the adoption of Soccsksargen as the region’s official name, Farnazo said they are also providing legal education to pupils, students as well as local residents regarding the provisions of EO 36.

He noted that questions had been raised as to why the region’s official name only referred to the acronym for the area’s four provinces and two chartered cities — South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.

The official explained that the area’s three other cities, specifically Tacurong, Kidapawan and Koronadal, were not included in the acronym since they are component cities of the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and South Cotabato, respectively.

Meantime, Farnazo said they’re hoping that the change in their athletic delegation’s name will help turn around the region’s performance in this year’s Palarong Pambansa.

The region only placed 11th among the country’s 17 regional athletic delegations that joined the 2013 Palarong Pambansa held in Dumaguete City.

“It is our ardent hope that the renaming of our region and the debut of this new image will eventually result to better performance and vibrant participation of our athletes,” he added. (MindaNews)