We are now ready for the Games, which we are hosting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. But we are asking for the support and prayers of everyone because you cannot foresee what will happen,” Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano told reporters yesterday.
Philippines ready to host SEA Games
Ramon Efren Lazaro, Jess Diaz, Marc Jason Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country is all set to host the Southeast Asian Games, which organizers expect to be watched by one billion people around the world through television and social media.

“We are now ready for the Games, which we are hosting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. But we are asking for the support and prayers of everyone because you cannot foresee what will happen,” Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano told reporters yesterday.

Cayetano chairs the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, which, together with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), is in charge of preparations.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino of Cavite, is POC president.

“Our hosting is very important to us because we want to show the best of the Philippines. With the right people, people with experience, and with 9,000 volunteers, we expect everything will go well,” Cayetano said.

He said the successful hosting of the regional sports competition “will be an immense advertising, marketing and commercial vehicle for the country, since the number of spectators is projected to reach one billion.” 

He said organizers are aiming to have live television coverage for up to 22 sports events, while others would be live on social media.

He added that one challenge they are facing is how to manage traffic in Metro Manila and other events venues to lessen inconvenience on the part of the public.

The Speaker noted that the Metro Manila Development Authority has already submitted to Malacañang its recommendation on the closure of certain roads and suspension of classes in some venues.

“We are now awaiting word from the Palace,” he said.

To ease traffic, he said organizers have billeted athletes, their coaches and support personnel in hotels near where sports events would be held.

Cayetano confirmed that boxing icon Sen. Manny Pacquiao would have a role in the opening ceremonies on Nov. 30 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

A third lawmaker that has to do with the SEA Games is Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero of 1-Pacman, who heads the Philippine polo team.

He and his team have just returned from a two-week practice in Argentina, where he injured himself in a fall.

Meanwhile, the MMDA yesterday led a simulation of the convoy that will be plying Metro Manila’s road during the Games.

The convoy travelled from various hotels in Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Clark and Subic on their way to the Philippine Arena.

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago reminded motorists to clear the yellow lane for the convoy.

The MMDA will implement a stop and go scheme on select roads for the game.

A simulation of a worst case scenario was also staged in EDSA-Balintawak with the bus driver pretending to have a heart attack.

ALAN PETER CAYETANO
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