WITH barely two years left before the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano assured all facilities for the hosting of the biennial event will be ready on time.
Cayetano, appointed by President Duterte as chairman of the 30th SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), said most venues will host test events before the Philippines rolls the red carpet out for its neighbors.
“We will make sure that no glitches would ruin our hosting of the Games,” said Cayetano. “This early, even our major projects like the New Clark City has September of next year as target of completion. That’s a tall order, but it can be done.”
Cayetano said work has started in New Clark City, which will host the centerpieces athletics and swimming events.
The New Clark City is being built in a 9,450-hectare land in Capas, Tarlac by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), one of the many agencies which responded to the government’s call to make the SEA Games a success.
Majority of the events will be held at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, through the support of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC).
Other events are set to be held in Subic Freeport Zone in Zambales and will get support from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
Metro Manila will also serve as venue for choice events, including basketball and volleyball.
“But we will showcase spots outside of Metro Manila. The SEA Games are just around the corner and everyone with stake in the Sea Games have committed to making our fourth hosting of the regional meet a success,” Cayetano said.
Existing facilities in Clark and Subic remain in tip-top condition, according to Cayetano.
“The track records of the SBMA, CDC and BCDA in their management of their facilities are excellent,” Cayetano said. “Our people are assured the venues we will use for the SEA Games will not end up as useless white elephants.”
Cayetano also said the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) are leaving no stone unturned in the preparation.
“Our target is to finish above the standings, as overall champion if possible,” Cayetano said. “But we will have to prepare our athletes harder and better this time. The POC, the PSC and the NSAs have been in close coordination for our athletes.”
Cayetano also said Philippine tourism expects a boost with the arrival of thousands of athletes, officials and dignitaries from the SEA nations.
“We have coordinated with the provinces within the fringes of hosts Clark and Subic to showcase their best before our guests,” he said. “We still have many months to prepare. Our infrastructure projects, including the venues, will be ready by then. Our best tourists spots would also be spruced up.”