Department of Education-11 spokesperson
Jenelito Atillo (Robby Joy d. Salveron/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City officials are expecting to welcome thousands of student-athletes from all over the region on Wednesday, February 14, four days before the biggest regional sporting event in Davao region officially commence.

Jenelito Atillo, spokesperson of the Department of Education-11 told reporters that at least 7,300 student-athletes, officiating officials, coaches and chaperones are anticipated to converge here for the weeklong Davao Regional Athletic Association Meet 2018 (DAVRAA) on February 18-23.

Atillo said the delegates from the Province of Davao del Norte with 600 participants was the first to arrive yesterday, February 13, while majority of the delegates from other provinces and cities are set to be welcomed by officials on February 14.

“Now, we will be expecting the delegates from Mati and Davao Oriental, which they are already entering Davao City as we speak. Delegates from Compostela Valley, Davao Occidental, Island Garden City of Samal, Panabo City, and Tagum are also expected to arrive today,” he added.

Along with the arrival of the participants, Atillo stressed that all of them will be escorted by security personnel as they arrive in the city premise to ensure their safety.

Security officials will also go on board on the buses just to make sure that everybody is protected, he added.

Atillo also assured that there will be no athletes sleeping on cartoons or floors like on the previous DAVRAA and other sporting events like Palarong Pambansa, as mattresses are already complete for each billeting areas.

“We put premium on the lessons from the past and we want to emphasize that this will be avoided,” he said.

He added that all possible complaints or concerns of the delegates will be “immediately acted upon” by authorities.

Student-athletes will be vying for different sports including 21 sporting events, five special games and three demonstration games for a chance compete in the national level, the Palarong Pambansa in Ilocos Sur slated on April 16-20.

Advance games for baseball, softball (for secondary), sepak takraw and futsal will be held starting February 16.

Meanwhile, Police Senior Inspector Ma. Teresita Gaspan, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said there will be 8,000 security forces from different law enforcement agencies in the city to be deployed during the whole period of the event.

“We are on full alert status and tight security measures. All billeting areas and places of engagement where activities will be held, there will be security personnel deployed,” Gaspan said. (

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