At least 1.5 million students in the region are set to return to school today.
Jenelito Atillo, spokesperson of the Department of Education (DepEd) XI, told TIMES that they are “very ready” for today’s opening of classes.
Atillo said they projected 1,553,630 students — 1,161,040 in public schools and 196,295 in private schools — in both primary and secondary levels.
In the public schools, they projected 732,294 in elementary (including kindergarten), 362,836 in junior high school, and 65,910 (in senior high school).
In the private schools, they projected 66,476 in elementary (including kindergarten), 62,970 in junior high school, and 66,849 (in senior high school).
The region has a total of 3,267 public and private schools; 624 are in the city.
Atillo said they still expect an increase of the figure as some parents and guardians have the penchant of enrolling their children late, a common problem every school opening.
Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said the security measure is already in place to secure the students and the schools.
Sr. Insp. Maria Teresita Gaspan, DCPO spokesperson, said they are deploying at least two police officers in each school.
At least two traffic group personnel will also be assigned to handle the traffic outside schools.
This is in addition to the agents of Civil Security Unit, or the public guards, detailed by City Hall.
The city has 364,597 elementary and high school students who are set to return to schools today
Gaspan said the police officers will assist both the students.
The Police Regional Office 11, under the lead of Regional Director Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, will establish police assistance desks (PADS) in all schools to provide public safety and security coverage.
Police visibility operations will also be intensified along the major routes leading to all learning institutions and within the immediate vicinity of the schools to prevent cases of bullying and modus operandi such as budol-budol.
All units of PROXI, in coordination with the local government units, will also strictly implement the prohibition of overloading of buses, jeeps and other public utility vehicles to avoid vehicular accidents.
Likewise, police will also strictly implement the zoning ordinances prohibiting the existence of computer shops, billiard establishments and other destructive games and recreation within the immediate vicinity of schools.
Police officers will caution the students to be wary of strangers and to refrain from talking to them and to avoid wearing expensive jewelry and bringing large amounts of money or from using expensive phones while in the streets.
“We encourage everyone to report any incidents of bullying and other street crimes to police officers assigned in your respective Police Assistance Desks (PADs), or to the nearest police stations, or their Hotline numbers or to the National Emergency Hotline numbers 911,” a statement from PROXI said.