ITS ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR SEAG 2019
BY JOASH DAVID L. RICANOR
Eight months to the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) presented its status of Games readiness with Chairman Alan Peter Cayetano declaring that all preparations are on time and on track for SEAG 2019.
In a press briefing with the sports media, Cayetano, along with PHISGOC COO Tats Suzara, Executive Director Tom Carrasco, Deputy Director General for Operations Cito Dayrit and other senior management officials, gave a comprehensive update on preparations after the PHISGOC’s three-day detailed preparation workshop held in Taguig.
Suzara reported that “we are on track with preparations. In venues for example we have reached 97% in identifying venues for all sports and functional areas.”
An estimated 17,000 athletes, coaches, spectators officials and media personnel are expected to visit the country for the games scheduled November 30 to December 11 in Subic, Clark, Manila and Cavite.
“The government is throwing its full support for the Games. The Department of Tourism for example is helping us promote the Games since they also recognize its benefit for tourism,” explained Cayetano. The country’s sports agency, Philippine Sports Commission is part of the organizing committee and is set to rehabilitate their sports facilities like the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex for the Games. The Department of Public Works and Highways have also pledged to refurbishing three venues in Cavite, 13 in Subic and four in Clark.
Cayetano further emphasized the positive impact of sports in nation building stating that “we are not just investing in infrastructure or tourism. Ask anybody from the opposite sides of the political spectrum and they will say that sports is the best way to get rid of drugs.”
As of this writing, there are 523 events in the 30th SEAG calendar with the final roster of sports expected to be approved by the Southeast Asian Games Federation in their EXECOM and Broadcast Meeting this coming April 22.
The Games’ volunteer program, set to be launched in April 12, shall also tap 12,000 people as volunteers for the operations and venues of the 30th SEA Games.