KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 – Philippines will now host the 30th SEA Games after all. The country will now proceed with the hosting job as confirmed by Philippines Olympic Commitee president Jose Cojuangco during the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) council meeting held on the eve of the 29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 opening.
Prior to this, it was reported that Philippines is backing out as host of the 2019 Games due to the war and the escalating cost in rebuilding Merawi. The SEAGF council, chaired by Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar, convened its meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Friday prior to the official opening of the 29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017.
Matters are concerning the organising of the KL2017 Games and the hosting of 30th SEA Games by Philippines were discussed at the meeting. Also attended by representatives of all participating SEA Games nations. The SEAGF council applauds Philippines’ decision to hold the 2019 Games with Tunku Tan Sri Imran saying that all 34 members were elated and immediately pledged an all-out support to ensure the hosting of the 2019 Manila Games will be an overwhelming success.
“Essentially, Philippines has have never pulled out. The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has always assumed that Philippines will take over the baton of hosting the SEA Games. It’s just that we had to wait for the final confirmation. We’re happy that POC had met with officials from their government to discuss and confirm to us that there are hosting the 2019 SEA Games,” said Tan Sri Tunku Imran after the council meeting.
Tan Sri Tunku Imran quashed fears over the situation in Philippines and Marawi, saying that POC has assured the safety and security of all member countries with full backing of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. Tan Sri Tunku Imran said Marawi is very far from the proposed places and venues of the next SEA Games.
“And we were also assured that the Cojuangco, who is next SEA Games chairman himself will receive the flag at the handing over of the Games flag during the closing ceremony of the 2017 Games on Aug 30,” said Tan Sri Tunku Imran. Meanwhile,Cojuangco said: ‘We had an agreement with the officials of the Philippines government, which is the Secretary of the Foreign Affairs, that we will proceed with the hosting of the 30th SEA Games.
“I have suggested to hold the events in three provinces to avoid the traffic congestion in Manila, namely Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales, for the convenience of our visitors and guests during the SEA Games. ‘There is also a newly constructed stadium, Philippine Arena which might be used as one of the event venues as well,” said Cojuangco. The Philippines last hosted the Games in 2005 in Manila where they won 113 gold medals and emerged as overall champions.