SOME delegations of the 16 competing regions have started arriving in Davao City Thursday, May 16, as National Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) organizers bared that they are 95 percent ready in hosting the annual sportsfest.
“Partida pa tong five percent,” National Prisaa president Ma. Lita Montalban said during Thursday’s iSpeak media forum at the Davao City Hall conference room.
On a serious note, she said with that they would just have to meet the National Prisaa Board to discuss policies and ordinances being implemented in the city then relay it to the delegations.
Montalban, who also guested later at the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex of SM City Davao, said the security and safety as well as the billeting quarters are well taken care of after a series of coordination and cluster meetings.
She also said, “Delegations have started coming in. They are so excited to be in Davao. Some nearby delegations even doubled the number because some parents of athletes are also joining them.”
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, Commission on Higher Education (Ched) chairman Dr. J. Prospero De Vera III and Department of Education (DepEd) national and regional officials are expected to grace the opening rites.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who was also invited, declined due to hectic schedules.
All events will be played here except for swimming and beach volleyball, which will be held in Tagum City. “Tagum has the standard beach volleydrome and the swimming pool at DavNor Sports Complex is complete and well maintained,” Montalban said.
National Prisaa secretary-general Laureano “Boy” Santos, meanwhile, said a total of 19 events are entered this year with billiards (9ball and 8ball) as demonstration sport.
“If billiards draws a lot of entries, we can make it a regular sport next year,” Santos said, adding that 7,000 delegates of athletes, coaches and officials along with parents are expected to come.
He also said Region 2 will host the 2020 edition of the Games in Tuguegarao.
“The formal turnover of the hosting will be held during the closing program,” he added.
Public Safety and Security Command Center deputy head Angel Sumagaysay said a total of 4,368 security personnel will be deployed both in billeting and playing venues.
“Same ang security measures that we implemented during the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) and Palarong Pambansa,” he said.