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Delegates arrive | 14k students now in city for Palarong Pambansa

More or less 14,000 delegates for the Palarong Pambansa 2019 have already arrived in the city starting dawn yesterday.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP Press briefing held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Jenielito Atillo, the Department of Education spokesperson, said they expect around 20,000 students to compete in the week-long event.

The opening of the Palaro will be on April 28 at the UP Mindanao sports complex in Mintal.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to grace the opening of the Palaro.

“We would like to ask everyone (to be) on game days because your presence and cheers are very important to our athletes,” Atillo said.

“This is our opportunity because in this Palaro, we can have a home court advantage,” he added.

There will be 19 billeting areas for the delegates and 26 playing venues during the Palaro.

Meanwhile, Atillo said that there are groups created to oversee the food being prepared. Cooks and handlers underwent a seminar and orientation to remind them the proper way to prepare food.

In 2016, a team from Tagum had to withdraw from the competition when they were sent to the hospital for food poisoning.

“We also want to emphasize that we have conducted a calamity preparation as to how they will respond,” he said, adding that they already scheduled a disaster preparedness drill.

“The security forces, hospitals, and even 911 are involved and mobilized,” he added.

The contingents should be familiar with the exit points from their sleeping quarters in case an emergency occurs.

Angel Sumagaysay, the deputy chief of the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), said they are installing an incident command system and an advanced command post.

“So it is a joint command post where the flow of communication is just smooth.”

He said they have an average deployment of 3,596 security and rescue personnel from April 28 to May 5.

“This is an integrated deployment, not only security but includes other government agencies deploying in the billeting and playing venues,” Sumagaysay said.

All quarters there are assigned vans and buses to ferry the delegates.

The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency XI and other intelligence units were also tapped to monitor security threats. The 10th Infantry Division and the 1003rd Infantry Brigade are also providing perimeter security.

Capt. Maria Theresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office, said they are already ready to secure the participants.

There will be two police lieutenants who will lead the teams assigned at every billeting quarters.”The delegates also will be escorted while going and back and forth to the playing venues,” she added.

There will be security checkpoints around the venue’s.

“All will be really subjected to inspection and like the usual, bladed weapons are not allowed inside,” she said. “All the city ordinances of the city are in effect so all must abide with the policy.”

Maj. Jason Baria, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, said the Multi-Agency Coordinating Council (MACC) will assess the security measures each day to spot lapses.

He said the Regional Reserve Force of the PRO XI is on standby in case the DCPO needs additional personnel.

“We have also deployed some from the different police provincial offices,” he added.

Meanwhile, Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said the military will play support on the security plan already in place.

“The Joint Task Force Haribon alerted some of our military assets like the aircraft and floating assets in case they are needed for security,” Balagtey said.

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