MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano announced Thursday that the Philippines will be hosting the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG).
Cayetano was with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair, William “Butch” Ramirez; and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco; when he made the announcement before sports officials and media at the Mariott Hotel in Pasay City.
“Unang-una answered prayers po na matuloy ang ating hosting. At glory to God na ang ating atheletes will have a chance not only to show their sports, their skills, their talents, but also the new Philippines which we expect in the next two years, and our athletes’ preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Cayetano , who is also chairperson of the 2019 SEAG Organizing Committee.
“We are not perfect, there’s a big challenge, para sa bayan at para sa ating athletes,” Cayetano said, adding that 2019 SEA Games is a big event to showcase the Philippines.
Cayetano emphasized that unity and leadership will play an important role for the Philippines’ hosting of the games and they will “ exercise leadership by example by being united. “
“I am in full faith with Cong. ‘Peping,’ the president of POC, and Chairman ‘Kuya’ Butch Ramirez, the chairman of PSC, will be able to guide me and will help us all to have a successsful hosting,“ Cayetano said.
This early, Cayetano said the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and Clark are already making some “preparations” in case the committee decides to use its facilities.
Cayetano said he favors the holding of some games in Subic and Clark which is envisioned to become “a special city.”
On the part of POC, Cojuangco said the hosting “is not for Peping, this is for our country.”
Cojuangco said ASEAN sports leaders and other officials especially the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) are more than happy on the Philippines’ hosting of the games for the fourth time.
For his part, Ramirez, who was the chairman of the agency when the Philippines won the overall championship in 2005, vowed that the government sports body will do its best to help in the hosting, particularly in attending to the needs of our national athletes. PNA-northboundasia.com