Palaro unfolds in Davao

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Palaro unfolds in Davao
President Duterte

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte will fly straight from a state visit in Beijing, China to Davao City for the opening of the Palarong Pambansa at the newly-built Davao City-University of the Philippines Mindanao Sports Complex today.

Duterte was originally scheduled to arrive here yesterday but had to re-schedule, according to a Department of Education memo.

“Yes, the President will attend,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who is already here  helping the host city in its preparation for the annual multi-sports meet for elementary and high school students.

It will be the third year in row that Duterte is gracing the meet after last year in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and two years ago in San Jose, Antique.

Over 20,000 athletes and coaches from 17 participating regions are in the hometown of the President for this year’s Palaro.

Action officially starts tomorrow in centerpiece athletics and medal-rich swimming.

Other events to be played are archery, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, boxing, chess, football, futsal, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, wrestling and wushu.

The differently-abled athletes, on the other hand, will also show their wares in their own side of the competition.

Rapid chess will start tomorrow with Calabarzon’s International Daniel Quizon favored to cop the gold medal.

Meanwhile, various measures will be implemented here to prevent the possibility of a measles outbreak among the participants.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones directed officials to fully implement the memorandum circular of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH).

The circular, signed by Briones and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III last March 22, was issued following the declaration of measles outbreak in some parts of the country earlier this year.

The policy covers school-related events such as the Palarong Pambasa.

Under the circular, a medical team shall be on standby 24/7 to monitor the condition of the participants throughout the week-long event.

A dedicated isolation room will also be established for suspected cases of measles.

Before leaving for Davao, all athletes participating in the annual sporting event were also screened for previous measles and vaccination history. – With report from Janvic Mateo

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