PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is expected to grace the 80th Araw ng Dabaw activities to give the Datu Bago Award to the two awardees this year, said Davao City official.

Davao City Councilor Pilar Braga confirmed on Tuesday, February 28, that the President will confer the Datu Bago Award to the two awardees on March 15 at The Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Davao City Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre said the president will be coming to celebrate with the Dabawenyos, recalling how the President, former Davao City mayor, joined last year's activities.

“I do not know which event but he will be coming and cabinet members are also expected to join,” Alejandre said.

He added the preparations for the activities are all set including traffic plan, which was presented to the Araw Executive meeting last Monday.

Davao City Tourism Operations Office officer-in-charge Generose Tecson said the city is ready for Araw ng Dabaw celebration which will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday with a mass at San Pedro Cathedral.

The official launching of the festival will be held at 7 p.m. in Rizal Park.

Tecson said invitations for the event were already sent to Davao City Councilors, City Hall officials, Consulates and representatives of business sector.

She added P10.5-million budget was allotted for the festival.

The local government will shoulder P4 million while the private sector will cover the rest of the expenses.

Marco Polo Hotel General Manager Dottie Wurgle-Cronin said on Tuesday that sponsorships come in platinum, gold, and bronze packages.

Tecson said Civic Parade or Parada Dabawenyo will be a must-see this year because it will showcase Davao's history.

She added Dabawenyos should also expect performances that will depict Dabawenyo strength in Duyog Dabaw: A celebration of strength concert that will be held on March 16.

The Dabawenyo Ako Program, which will educate schools kids about the history of Dabaw, will also be launched on Wednesday. The program will run from March 1 to 3, 6 to 10, and 13 to 15 in 11 elementary schools within Davao.