Philippines 100% ready for SEA Games
After inspecting the new P13-billion sports complex in New Clark City in Tarlac on Wednesday, Cayetano, head of the SEA Games organizing committee, said the sports complex and facilities to be used for the biennial meet have been completed and are now being used by some athletes.
Philippines 100% ready for SEA Games
Danessa Rivera, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Edu Punay, Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is ready to host the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has announced.

After inspecting the new P13-billion sports complex in New Clark City in Tarlac on Wednesday, Cayetano, head of the SEA Games organizing committee, said the sports complex and facilities to be used for the biennial meet have been completed and are now being used by some athletes.

“Overall, we’re 100 percent ready,” Cayetano told reporters at a press conference, more than a month before the start of the games.

Cayetano, also chairman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), said there only remains the need to finalize logistics for the events and make sure there would be no glitches.

He said PHISGOC needs to ensure smooth conduct of the games that will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 where over 12,000 athletes and coaches, 1,000 international members of the media and 15,000 volunteers are expected to participate.

“Right now we are in the stage of rehearsing, practicing and meeting. This walk-through is important so that we could anticipate possible problems,” he said.

Officials of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) assured Cayetano and Sen. Christopher Go that the construction of the modern sports complex, particularly the Athletic Stadium and Aquatic Center, would be completed in time for the opening of SEA Games on Nov. 30.

BCDA chief Vince Dizon presented the progress of the construction activities in the sports hub, including the 20,000-seater Athletic Stadium and 2,000-seater Aquatic Center.

The Aquatic Center has an Olympic-size pool similar to what was used during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Aside from the 10-lane competition pool, it also has an eight-lane training pool and a diving pool with five-meter maximum depth and meets global standards of the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA).

The Aquatic Center’s design drew inspiration from the “baklad” or woven fishnets as well as capiz shells used in traditional Filipino architecture.

Aside from the Aquatic Center and Athletic Stadium, the New Clark City sports complex also has two track ovals for running and throwing events, an Athletes’ Village that has 2,100 beds, the 1.4-km. Riverpark and government buildings.

Cayetano stressed the importance of providing convenient accommodation to participants, which he stressed is “very essential to athletes because it will affect their performance.”

The House leader admitted that preparations for the SEA Games were affected by the delayed enactment of this year’s budget, but this was addressed through kind compensation by sponsors and volunteers.

He said contributions in cash and in kind from the private sector helped a lot in their preparations.

Cayetano said they expect heavy traffic in Metro Manila to be one of the major challenges during the event.

“Here in the Southeast Asian Games, you may be able to control the traffic for the athletes and coaches, but how about the spectators? We can’t make them commute for three to four hours to watch a one-hour game, right? It’s really going to be a challenge,” he said.

Most of the 56 sporting events in the SEA Games will be held in venues within Metro Manila – Makati Coliseum, Starmall EDSA, Filoil Flying V Center, Manila Hotel tent, PICC forum, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Mall of Asia Arena, SM Mall of Asia skating rink, SM Megamall ice rink, World Trade Center and Philsports Arena.

The opening ceremonies will be held outside of Metro Manila, at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The Philippine Arena is the country’s largest indoor arena with a maximum seating capacity of 55,000 people.

Roads ready

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has given assurance of better accessibility to Philippine Arena come the SEA Games opening.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said the construction of the Ciudad de Victoria Interchange overpass bridge and bypass road is being accelerated to provide direct access to the Philippine Arena in line with the expected huge turnout of visitors at the opening ceremony on Nov. 30.

Villar said all girders for the 80 lineal meters overpass bridge crossing the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) are completely installed, while round-the-clock construction work is ongoing for a 1.12-kilometer four-lane bypass road connecting the Manila North Road and the Sta. Maria-Bocaue Bypass Road as part of the Ciudad de Victoria Interchange Project Phase 1.

The P260.8-million Ciudad de Victoria Interchange overpass bridge is envisioned to serve as an alternate road to the heavily congested Gov. F. Halili Road in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

It will also address the usual heavy traffic situation and queuing of vehicles entering the Bocaue interchange, according to DPWH.

To increase capacity to two-lane per direction and help alleviate traffic congestion along Governor Halili, additional lanes of the bridge structure at Bocaue Interchange is also being constructed.

The DPWH said the second phase of the Ciudad de Victoria Interchange Project in partnership with Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.’s NLEX Corp. is ongoing. It involves the construction of the southbound acceleration and deceleration lanes for vehicles going to Philippine Arena.

A 1.91-kilometer road from MacArthur Highway to Bocaue Municipal Hall will be improved while a 1.3-km road from the Philippine Arena to the existing Patubig Road in Marilao, Bulacan will be constructed, Villar said.

Power ready

On the other hand, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and its Japanese partners are ready to connect power to New Clark City in Tarlac.

Meralco senior vice president Rogelio Singson said the new distribution company for New Clark City has completed construction for the initial transmission lines and is ready to distribute power.


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