DISCOMFORT and restlessness greeted some of the 600 Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) delegates who slept on cartons, bought for P3 each, for three nights since arriving in Antique Saturday to compete in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa that will get underway on Sunday, April 23.
The delegation is billeted at Governor Julian Fullon Pacificador National School in Barangay Hamtic in Antique Province.
Deped 11 regional sports coordinator Antonio R. Pasquito, Jr., in a phone interview with SunStar Davao On Tuesday, said Davraa has 636 delegates of athletes, coaches and delegation officials with 67 technical committee members. The delegation arrived in two batches. The first batch came Saturday while the second batch arrived Sunday.
While some of the region's swimming, basketball, football and futsal teams rented houses, the rest are staying at the billeting quarters. Only few brought their own mats.
Pasquito said, "For two nights wala miy mats, natulog ra sa karton mga delegado nato. Gabii ra niabot ang 300 mats gikan sa LGU nga gidala sa principal. By alphabet ang pag-distribute sa mats so tong mga layo ang apelyido magpaabot pa sa sunod nga batch of mats sa April 20 daw muabot (We slept without mattresses for two nights, only using cartons. The 300 mattresses only arrived Monday evening and were distributed according to the alphabet so those whose family names start with letters found in the middle of the alphabet will have to wait for the second batch of releasing of mattresses set on April 20)."
Deped Davao City Public Schools District Supervisor-Sports Lydia Ampo, in a separate phone conversation, revealed from her colleague now in Antique that each carton was bought at P3 each.
Pasquito also likened their situation to what they experienced in Legazpi City-hosted Palaro last year since not all delegates were given mattresses.
"Dili nalang ta magdahum ani siguro kay basin parehas ra ni sa Legazpi dili tanan matagaan og mats (I think we should not expect much as it might just be the same in Legazpi that not all delegates received mats)," he added.
Despite the inconvenience, he added that Davraa athletes continue to train in their respective playing venues. He also said that this won't affect the performance of the athletes who have played in past Palaro editions although the newbies are expected to adjust with the poor sleeping conditions.
Pasquito said that they have not encountered problems with the toilets and water supply in their billeting area.
Davraa taekwondo secondary girls head coach Arturo Lalican Jr., for his part, said they have been sleeping straight three nights without proper beddings.
"Kagabii sir, April 17, naay nag abot 300 ka beddings pero six lang kabuok nahatagan sa amoa para lang sa elementary boys wala pay labot sa coaches (Some 300 mats arrived Monday but only six of our players from the elementary boys got theirs excluding the coaches)," he said in a phone interview, adding that the rest of them continued using the cartons for sleeping.
Lalican also said officials told them ahead not to bring beddings anymore since it will be provided in their billeting quarters. The sleeping discomfort the delegates felt added to the inconvenience they experienced during their trip to Antique via non-air conditioned ship.
Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, meanwhile, said the Philippine Sports Commission has their mats on standby and ready for transfer when needed.
"The PSC already gave the host LGU a cash assistance of P10 million. Maybe the early arrival of delegations was not anticipated," Maxey said in his text message Tuesday. (With Adam B. Morrell)