MANILA— Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco on Monday expressed optimism that the Philippines will host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Cojuangco said POC is banking on Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair William “Butch” Ramirez statement “not to close” referring to our country’s hosting of the regional biennial meet in 2019.
Ramirez statement came during the send off of Team Philippines in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Earlier, Cojuangco wrote the President, appealing to support the country’s hosting of the regional meet, pointing out advantages for the country.
“We will wait, “ said Cojuangco after POC deferred its action on the matter of hosting during its monthly executive meeting held at the sports body’s office inside the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) building in Pasig.
On August 18, a day before the official opening of the 29th Southeast Asian Games , sports officials will have its meeting and the turnover for the next host of the regional meet is among the reported agenda.
POC board member and the sports body’s media officer, Robert Mananquil said the “decision” for hosting will be decided in the said federation meeting.
“For now and until the 18th (Aug), we will wait for the action of our President , adding that “POC will respect whatever the decision of Malacanang.”
Earlier, the POC letter to the President was sent after PSC chairman Ramirez announced that the Philippine government has withdrawn its support for the hosting of the meet, citing threat of terrorism and the funds to be allotted for the hosting instead be channeled to the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
In the event that POC gets a nod from Malacanang, it will be the fourth time since 1981 that the Philippines will be hosting the regional meet. Other hostings were in 1991 and 2005, where the Philippines emerged as the overall champion among the 10 ASEAN countries.