CAPAS, Tarlac – Southeast Asian Games 2019 organizing committee chief and Foreign Affairs secretary Allan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday that the soon-to-be developed 9,500-hectare Clark City has what it takes to become a world-caliber training center.
Not only is Clark City capable of hosting the national athletes but even foreign athletes escaping the wintry weather can relocate here.
Speaking during the groundbreaking rites presided over by the leading Bases Conversion and Development Authority and attended by personages from Malacanang, Senate, Lower House, foreign investors and sports leaders, Cayetano insists that the inclusion of sports venues is testament to President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
“Sports is the best teacher. This goes in line with our anti-drug (campaign),” said Cayetano, adding that the BCDA’s blueprint has the construction of two major sporting venues as tops on the priority list.
A track oval cum stadium that can accommodate 20,000 and an aquatics center that can fit 2,000 can be done in time for the opening of the 30th edition of the biennial sportsfest.
Throwing their support are Dennis Uy, the Presidential Adviser on Sports and the heads of the government-ran Philippine Sports Commission and the privately-funded Philippine Olympic Committee.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez is also a major player in the equation since the BCDA has the PSC as a prime partner in the ambitious project that aims to make Clark City not only a commercial hub but an alternative residential area for those wanting to escape crowded and polluted Metro Manila.
The 2019 SEAG is being eyed to take place in November 2019 and Cayetano noted that holding half of the sports and events outside Metro Manila is of paramount importance given the threat of severe flooding and traffic.
Apart from Clark City, other SEAG hosts are Bulacan and Subic.
The gigantic Philippine Arena and Philippine Sports Stadium have been considered as topmost venues.
Making Clark City as a hub of activity is also in line with the government’s ‘Build, Build and Build’ campaign.
Major infrastructure projects are on the pipeline in an effort to develop Clark City, said Cayetano.