Gov’t nixes 2019 SEA Games hosting
The Philippines’ hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will most likely be cancelled after the government withdrew its support and opted to just channel funds for rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi.
Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez said Malacanang has approved of the decision to turn down the hosting in the light of conflict currently gripping the Mindanao city.
Technically it was the Philippine Olympic Committee which has the authority to withdraw the hosting, but government support is an integral part of the endeavor specifically in the financial and logistical aspects.
“Due to the current situation in Mindanao and the problem of terrorism and atrocities, we regret to inform you that we will no longer push through with the hosting of the biennial event,” said Ramirez in a presser Friday.
“It has been resolved that government resources to be focused in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Mindanao specially Marawi,” he added.
The country reportedly spent P500 million to stage the 2005 SEA Games in Manila and other key cities like Bacolod and Cebu. Most of the expenses were shouldered by the government through the PSC.
The Philippines took over the 2019 hosting of the Games during the 2015 Singapore SEAG after original host Brunei begged off.
POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., did not return calls for his comment.
But sources inside the POC said it would be “not just an uphill climb but an up-Everest climb” for the Olympic body to stage the SEA Games without government support.
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