Can Philippines host 2019 SEA Games using existing facilities? POC thinks so
The Philippine Arena in Bulacan is among the facilities targeted to host some major events when the country hosts SEA Games in 2019.

THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) expressed confidence the country is capable of hosting the 2019 Southeast Asian Games without having to build new facilities, banking on the Filipinos' 'managerial expertise' to get the job done.

POC vice-president Joey Romasanta said the SEA Games Federation didn't require new facilities to be built for the 2019 showpiece, which it awarded to the Philippines after Brunei pulled out.

“Sabi ng SEA Games Federation, we will be going to make do with what we have," said Romasanta, although he added that the federation ruled out a set-up similar to the 2005 Games when events were held in Cebu and Bacolod.

‘Wag lang mapupunta sa Cebu or Bacolod. Kung puwede daw, within the area na lang na accessible within Luzon,” he added.

The POC is targeting modern facilities such as the Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned Philippine Stadium and Philippine Arena as well as the Mall of Asia Arena to stage the major events, Romasanta said.

On the other hand, athletes will likely be billeted in hotels in the absence of an Athletes' Village, similar to the set-up done in the last SEA Games in Singapore.

“Considering na wala tayong Athletes Village, gagawin natin ‘yung ginawa katulad ng Singapore and nung 2005 na sa mga hotels,” said Romasanta.

Romasanta expressed confidence the country can put it all together despite the limitations. 

“We have management and organizational expertise. I think we have more than enough,” said Romasanta.

The POC is set to formally accept the hosting rights for the 2019 showcase during the next SEA Games Federation Council Meeting, likely by March of next year.

Romasanta said only a government guarantee of support is needed to complete the process.

“Ang kailangan na lang natin is ‘yung government guarantee. It doesn’t say that the government will guarantee the cost. They have to guarantee ‘yung government support like ‘yung police, Armed Forces, immigration, customs, etc.,” said Romasanta.

Romasanta said they intend to make the request to the Office of the President once they receive the documents awarding the 2019 hosting rights to the Philippines.

“Kailangan siguro unahin muna natin na ma-formalize … Kapag hawak na natin ‘yun, saka natin idudulog sa Palasyo para ika nga bigyan ng kaukulang basbas ‘yung particular request,” said Romasanta.

Romasanta said the number of sports will still be determined at a later date.

“We still have to identify kung ano lalaruin. Considering that magkakaroon ng meeting na ang agenda ay ‘yung 2017 SEA Games, part of it is mapag-uusapan definitely ‘yung hosting of 2019 and also what will probably be the sports and events,” said Romasanta.


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