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Duterte backs Philippines in hosting 2019 SEA Games

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After vacillating from its previous decision to beg off in hosting the 2019 SEA Games due to the rehabilitation of Marawi which was destroyed by deadly battles between the government forces and the Islamist extremist militants for almost three months, the Philippines finally decided to host the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

While it is not clear that after expressing to pull out, the SEA Games Federation has already chosen another host, since Thailand was willing to step in if no other countries expressed interest to host. the Philippines would formally notify the Federation and reiterate our commitment to host the 2019 edition after securing backing from President Rodrigo Duterte.

Cynthia Carrion, a board member of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said, ”That’s absolutely true. I’m 200 percent sure we are hosting the Games.”

Carrion, also the chef de mission of the Philippines delegation at the 2017 SEA Games said the government’s initial decision “had nothing to do with Marawi”but refused to elaborate.

To his credit, it was Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Jose “Peping” Cojuangco who wrote to President Rodrigo Duterte and appealed for reconsideration.

The POC officials met with DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and other President’s advisers and discussed funding and other matters for the 2019 SEA Games.

The Philippine Sports Commission said in a separate statement that Cayetano was named chairman of the organizing committee for the 2019 SEA Games.

The SEA Games is planned to be held in the Central Luzon areas particularly in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Zambales. But the main hub is Clark featuring the still under construction sports complex at the New Clark City development in Capas, Tarlac. The secondary hub is centered around Subic, Zambales while the tertiary hub is Metro Manila.

The opening ceremony will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan while the closing ceremony will be held in a yet to be named venue in Clark.Manila will host boxing, basketball, and volleyball events while Subic will host water sport events.[

The construction of the NOC (National Olympic Committee) mansions and villas for accommodating of the delegates from the competing countries has been proposed to be built in New Clark City. Each mansion will have 15 to 17 rooms each.

The 2019 SEA Games will certainly boost not only Philippine tourism but also the economy of the main host localities.

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