SEAG hosting huge boost to Mindanao tourism sector
HOSTING the 2019 Southeast Asian Games can prove beneficial to Mindanao.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. said its positive impact can be felt throughout the region as top sports officials aim to bring the Games featuring the best athletes from 11 countries to Davao City.
“It will be such a big help for Mindanao,” said Cojuangco. “You saw in the Palarong Pambansa that this is an area where people also love sports.”
Cojuangco was referring to the 2015 Palaro hosted by Tagum City in Davao Del Norte, one of the possible venues for the SEA Games which the country will be hosting for the fourth time in almost four decades.
Filipinos won the overall championship for the first time during the 2005 Manila edition.
Cojuangco has proposed that Davao City be the hub of the 2019 biennial meet with Tagum City, home of the Davao Del Norte Sports and Tourism Center, as one of the satellite venues.
“The problem (with the Abu Sayyaf) is not good for tourism, but if they can see you’re hosting a big sporting event like this, we can show the world what the Philippines is all about,” said Cojuangco.
Philippine Sports Commission Chair William Ramirez agreed that Davao is capable of hosting the Games after Manila pulled off the feat 11 years ago during his first term as PSC chief under the Arroyo administration.
“We have to sit down with Chairman Ramirez and form the organizing committee,” said Cojuangco. “We’ll do this immediately after the Olympics.”
Ramirez had initially sent an inspection team to Davao, led by PSC commissioners Charles Maxey and Arnold Agustin, to check on the available facilities.
Maxey said the sports complex in Tagum City and the convention center inside SM Lanang could serve as possible venues apart from the facilities being built inside University of Mindanao and UP Mindanao.