Cayetano, head of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), said the POC has decided to bid for the event and ask for the approval of President Duterte.
The STAR/ File
POC OKs plan to bid for 2030 Asiad
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has approved the proposal for the country to bid for the hosting of the 2030 Asian Games, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano announced yesterday.

Cayetano, head of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), said the POC has decided to bid for the event and ask for the approval of President Duterte.

Cayetano said POC president and Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino would prepare the formal proposal to be submitted to Duterte after the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games the country is hosting.

“(Tolentino) told me that they will definitely make a bid for the 2030 Asian Games. And the officials that are here, that are in the know, say we have a very good chance to win the bid because of what they are seeing in this SEA Games,” Cayetano said.

Once approved, Cayetano said the President may issue an executive order for the bidding and holding of the event and for appropriation of necessary budget.

But to be able to successfully stage the event, Cayetano admitted there are obstacles that the country needs to hurdle.

He stressed all stakeholders should unite and support the proposal.

“When it comes to sports, we should set aside politics,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano believed that another big challenge will be the changes in administration as preparations for the 2030 event will take 10 years.

“We just need a unifying factor, and in the same manner that this ongoing SEA Games has become a unifying factor, I think the Asian Games can be a unifying factor also for a 10-year plan,” he said.

Cayetano suggested all political parties should take part in the planning to make sure the program would be pursued regardless of the country’s emergent leader in the 2028 polls.

“We have to have a chief coordinator to oversee all the infrastructure... Having a long-term plan is really the challenge to our country,” he explained.

Cayetano stressed that while the funding could be a challenge, the government may opt to integrate venue infrastructure to the national budget, particularly for the benefit of state universities that have been requesting for sports facilities.

He said new facilities to be built for the Asian Games could be created inside state universities, where they can still be put to good use even after the event.

Cayetano admitted they are motivated by the “Best SEA Games Organizer” awarded to PHISGOC by the Sports Industry Award Asia (SPIA) last week.

“This award is a signal to different international federations and sporting associations, even to the sports industry, that the Philippines has arrived. They can hold practice and set up training camps and even hold international competitions here,” he said.

Cayetano believed the SEA Games has been a success so far despite criticisms on blunders during the arrival of athletes.

“Critics say we failed, but what they don’t know is that of the 300 arrivals only three had problems, when usually in events like this more than 15 percent of arrivals encounter problems,” Cayetano said.

“Majority of the Filipino people are mature and professional” enough to realize this, he added.    

Some critics and social media users claimed the recognition was self-awarded.

In a previous statement, SPIA announced Tourism Promotions Board (TBP), an agency under the Department of Tourism, had a partnership with the body that gathers sports business officials and groups, saying that hosting sports events in a country could bolster its potential for tourism.

The TPB served as the SPIA’s presenting partner, according to the SPIA official website, with the PHISGOC endorsing it.

TPB’s chief operating officer Venus Tan clarified they had a little role in the conduct of the SPIA award which recognized the committee handling the SEAG.

“TPB’s assistance was to support in part only the gala night,” Tan said. –With Ghio Ong

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