Philippines hosting of 2019 SEAG hinges on May polls
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - January 12, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The results of the coming May elections will have a direct effect on whether or not the country can play host to the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine Olympic Committee vice president Jose Romasanta is hoping that whoever wins the presidency will give sports a bigger role in nation-building.

“If the next President sees the real value in sports as a tool for nation-building then sports will be given more priority,” he said.

“Sports has always been a unifying factor,” he said.

The Philippine Olympic Committee headed by Jose Cojuangco has already expressed serious interest in hosting the 2019 SEA Games after Brunei begged off from hosting the biennial event.

The POC has informed the SEA Games Federation of its intention to host the SEA Games for the fourth time after 1981, 1991 and 2005.

“But right now everything is still up in the air,” said Romasanta.

With the national elections growing nearer each day, everybody, including those in government, is focused on the polls. During an election, everything takes the backseat.

“It will all depend on the elections and the next President. We will need the government guarantee recognizing that the SEA Games will be held here,” said Romasanta.

Then the other government agencies will have to step into the picture – from the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, Department of Tourism or the Department of Health.

In 2005, First Gentleman Jose Arroyo spearheaded the country’s hosting of the SEA Games.

While the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission handled the drawing board, the First Gentleman made sure there was enough fund to make the hosting a success.

Arroyo was able to raise money used for the training of the national athletes, and the Philippines bagged the overall crown for the first time in SEAG history.

Romasanta said the country will need the same kind of support from the government to make it happen in 2019.

“We’re hoping we can have a President that truly understands the value of sports,” he said.

ACIRC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM FIRST GENTLEMAN FIRST GENTLEMAN JOSE ARROYO GAMES FEDERATION JOSE COJUANGCO JOSE ROMASANTA PHILIPPINE OLYMPIC COMMITTEE ROMASANTA
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