SEA Games Federation elated over Philippines’ 2019 hosting
Akala nila hindi na tuloy. But when they heard from the SEA Games Federation president and from us that we will push through with the hosting, natuwa sila at nagpalakpakan. Binati nila lahat kami -- Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco
KUALA LUMPUR – The Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) council welcomes the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019 with open arms and complete optimism.
SEA Games Federation council president HRM Yam Tunku Sri Imran said all 34 members of the powerful assembly were elated after learning the Philippines will be hosting the Games for the first time in 12 years.
Sri Imran, who is also the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) said Filipinos should expect an all-out support from them to make its hosting an overwhelming success.
The Philippines was supposed to back out from the hosting chore, but Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano stepped forward and expressed willingness to chair the SEA Games Organizing Committee.
His effort was lauded by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, who immediately issued his appointment paper that signifies that he would be on top of the preparation.
“We are so happy that despite the glitches, and only two days before this meeting, our friends in the Philippine Olympic Committee met with officials from their government to discuss and confirm to us that there are hosting the 2019 SEA Games,” said Imran in a press briefing following the SEA Games Federation council meeting.
Sri Imran admitted that there are fears from some members that the Philippines is not safe after a terror group occupied the city of Marawi last June.
But he quickly extinguished those negative concerns, saying that the POC assured the safety and security of all member countries for having the full backing of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Marawi is very far from the proposed places and venues of the next SEA Games said Imran. “And we were also assured that the incoming SEA Games chairman (Cojuangco) himself will receive the flag in the turnover ceremony as part of the commitment.”
Cojuangco said his announcement that their hosting will push through was met with cheers and applause from other members, including OCM secretary general Dato Low Beng Choo and Badminton Association of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Mohammad Norza Zakaria.
“Akala nila hindi na tuloy,” he said following the meeting that was also attended by POC first vice president Joey Romasanta, treasurer Julian Camacho and auditor Jonne Go.
“But when they heard from the SEA Games Federation president and from us that we will push through with the hosting, natuwa sila at nagpalakpakan. Binati nila lahat kami.”
The Philippine edition of the Games is expected to be held in Metro Manila and nearby provinces like Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales.
“In order to avoid traffic, it will be held in Central Luzon, particularly in Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales that are also so close to Subic and Clark,” Cojuangco said.