POC insists on hosting 2019 SEA Games, will appeal to Duterte | Inquirer Sports

POC insists on hosting 2019 SEA Games, will appeal to Duterte

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:15 AM July 27, 2017

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) remains confident that the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will be played in the country.

The local Olympic body’s general assembly unanimously approved Wednesday a board resolution to appeal the government position not to push through with the Manila hosting because of the conflict in Marawi City.

National sports associations have agreed to seek an audience with President Duterte next week, hoping that Malacañang will have a change of heart and proceed with the Games.

POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. said they would submit a plan of action with the financial requirements to be sourced from the private sector or the government and show that the expenses won’t skyrocket to P7 billion as earlier reported.

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“I will appoint a group to work on the plan of action and figure out the financial requirement,” said Cojuangco after a heated discussion during the POC GA at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

“We’ll try to arrange a meeting with the President and directly appeal to him,” added Cojuangco.

Reliable sources said the POC will ask Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano or possibly former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to broker the talks.

A total of 21 NSA leaders were made to sign a manifesto pleading for Duterte to reconsider the decision of the government to cancel the hosting.

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The POC will also ask for the support of other NSAs not present during the GA.

POC board member Robert Mananquil suggested that the private sector could bankroll the organization of the Games so the government wouldn’t have to spend much and simply shoulder security, immigration and customs requirements.

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Mananquil, also president of the Billiard Sports Confederation of the Philippines, said it could take another decade for the Philippines to host the SEA Games if the country gives up the Manila edition in 2019.

Indonesia or Thailand could take over the 2019 hosting followed by Vietnam in 2021, Cambodia in 2023 and Indonesia or Thailand again by 2025.

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TAGS: 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Jose Cojuangco Jr, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC)

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