DAVAO City's hosting of the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet 2018 concluded last February 23 in a simple closing ceremony at the University of Mindanao (UM) sports center.
The hosting was the first since the city last hosted it in over two decades. And it seems it wouldn't be the last as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio herself made her intention clear during her speech at the closing ceremony.
"Davao City would like to host again the Davraa 2019. We will make sure a different experience for all of you," the mayor was quoted as saying.
She also cited the efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on zero incidence during the weeklong sportsfest.
Except for the reported food poisoning incidents suffered by some Mati City and Tagum City delegates and low water supply in some billeting areas, games in the regional meet went on schedule although the secondary girls 3X3 was marred by a protest.
The “Bag ng Pagbabago", which was handed out to each of some 7,200 Davraa Meet 2018 delegates as tokens of the city's hospitality, was something that participants experienced for the first time. We laud the city executives for that initiative.
However, hosting the Davraa Meet 2019 and the Palarong Pambansa 2019 will be ambitious feats that should not only be carried out by the City Government of Davao and the city and regional offices of the Department of Education (Deped) along with few private partners.
Barely a year for preparations should already be started immediately.
We suggest that executive committees to be formed for next year's possible hosting of the Davraa Meet and Palarong Pambansa, should also include the Davao City Tourism and Operations Office (CTOO), Davao City Engineer's Office and Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office to help in the beautification of the city (the lack of colorful flags and banners along the city's major thoroughfares and in playing venues in the recently-concluded Davraa Meet 2018 failed to give a festive atmosphere like in previous hostings) and the Davao City Information Office (CIO) to hype up the events and perhaps help in making the event media center live up to its name. Why call a conference room with microphones a media center when there are no computer units and no updated results to aid media practitioners with their stories?
The secretariat, maybe, could also tie up with a computer school (just like Davao del Norte did when it hosted past editions of the Palaro, Davraa Meet and Batang Pinoy Mindanao) and an IT expert to help hasten the posting of updated results on the official website.
Even a week after the close of the regional meet, not all results and names of medalists in each event of every sport were posted. This is a big deal, especially when national broadsheets and TV networks and regional dailies will also come once Palaro 2019 hosting rights be granted to the city.
Hosting huge sporting meets like the Palaro, which expects some 10,000 delegates, needs more careful planning. The more experts involved, the better. After all, every hosting of the city is an opportunity to show to all and sundry that yes, Davao can do it!