After successful Palaro, Albay eyes 2019 SEAG

Joey Villar - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Following a successful hosting of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa, Albay is now setting its sights on hosting an event in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

"If they give us athletics and swimming, why not," said Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, whose province allocated P400 million to host the weeklong event dominated by the National Capital Region which went on to secure its 12th straight overall title with a 104-gold medal haul.

"We also like archery or any outdoor sport because of the Mayon Volcano being your backdrop," he added.

Salceda said spreading the games to the countryside will aid in boosting tourism.

"We have to maximize the opportunity of using sports to spread tourism someplace else outside Manila," he said.

Interestingly, Salceda has been in constant talks with the Philippine Sports Commission about staging SEAG events.

Using the Palaro as its platform, Salceda said they're ready to host a bigger event like the SEAG.

"We hosted about 20,000 athletes and perhaps more if you would include everyone who went to Albay and we're proud of our disaster preparedness so the SEAG would be easy for us," said Salceda.

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, for his part, praised Albay for a great hosting job.

"Excellent. From beginning to end I stayed, and I think Albay went all out to ensure the success of the Palaro. Everyone was happy," said Luistro.

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