Escudero backs call for new SEAG roster of events


PUSHING for a standard sports calendar in the region, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero yesterday threw his support behind the Philippine Olym-pic Committee’s (POC) call for a review of the Southeast Asian Games events.

Escudero’s stand came after Myanmar, this year’s SEA Games host, announced that it would scrap several Olympic events in favor of indigenous games that are unfamiliar to the majority of the biennial meet’s member-countries.

“This is a bad sign for the region,” Escudero, the Senate’s most vocal supporter of sports,  said in a statement. “We have been struggling in sports for so long, and news about the SEA Games host clipping Olympic sports from the  calendar—if only to ensure its own victories in sports unfamiliar to its neighbors—do not help the region in any way.”

The host’s decision has led the POC, along with the Singapore Olympic Committee, to call for the standardization of SEA Games events that should include Olympic sports.

“Maybe it’s high time we think about the region’s sports future by supporting calls for a standard calendar in future SEA Games,” said Escudero.

Escudero, an avid pistol shooter and biker, said the government should back the POC’s bid to also help boost the country’s sagging campaign in international competitions.

“Sports has long been in the sidelines of government priorities, but it is important in gauging a country’s economic growth,” said Escudero. “More developed countries have Olympic champions; we have none yet.”

Escudero cited the general poor performance of the region in the 2012 London Olympics where no Southeast Asian country bagged a gold medal.

The measly Olympic haul was two silvers and one bronze for Thailand, one silver and one bronze for Indonesia and Malaysia and two bronzes for Singapore.
“I believe governments can make an impact by raising the level of sports in Southeast Asia,” said Escudero. “While national Olympic committees—including the POC—are autonomous and free from political pressure and interference, I believe there is a very thin line of division while maintaining a high respect between NOCs and governments that would merit cooperation in this line.” Jasmine W. Payo

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Karlo Silverio Sevilla III

    The honorable senator has been consistently issuing statements in support of Philippine sports, and, this time around, even for the health of sports of the whole Southeast Asian region…Now I wonder how well his home province of Sorsogon fares in the national sports scene? What is its standing in the Palarong Pambansa, Philippine National Games, Batang Pinoy, etc.? Or even in Bicol regional meets?…

  • catmanjohn

    Talk is cheap, doing the right things to achieve it requires Action. Health and Education are key in attaining the goals of international sports competition, and it will take another half generation of about ten years before the PH can even be considered as a serious contender for the top tiers. Health issues of the children must be considered as a priority. Passage of the RH will help so that resources can be focused more on quality and less on quantity. Look at Central Mindanao, where malnutrition has taken hold due to the storms. If politicians like Escudero can not stamp that out at its roots, then all the talk and posturing is just that. What about government sponsored immunization programs? Water and sanitation issues have to addressed so that our young children are not debilitated by diseases and water borne illness constantly throughout their lives. Schools must have the tools and programs to provide the children with the opportunity and training to cultivate their talents, and every community and barangay has to support their talents with relentless determination. Each Olympic medal won is a reflection of the collective efforts of that team or individual, as well as the moral health of that Nation. There is still so much to do.

  • George

    hmmmmm, ano kaya ang “opinyon” ng kagalang galang na kongressman ng sarangani dito.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94