Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday urged the organizers of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games to consider holding the sports event at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Department of Foreign Affairs secretary and 2019 SEA Games organizing committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano recently revealed that the Philippines will host the international sports event across three provinces in Central Luzon.
Cayetano said they are specifically looking at New Clark City in Angeles, Pampanga as one feasible site. The area covers 100 hectares of idle land being eyed for development of sports infrastructure and training centers. Other areas considered are Bulacan and Zambales.
Aside from possibly holding the sports event in Pampanga and Zambales, Villanueva suggested to include Philippine Arena in Bulacan as one of the venues the organizers can use for 2019 SEA Games.
“Please seriously consider Bulacan, we have the [Philippine] Arena and other great facilities plus extra ordinary hospitality of Bulakenyos,” the senator said on his social media post.
The Philippine Arena is a 140-hectare multipurpose indoor arena at Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan. It is the world’s largest indoor arena with a maximum seating capacity of 51,898.
Meanwhile, Cayetano admitted that though building a sports hub in Clark might be a “win-win situation”, some facilities might not be completed in two years.
“If sports facilities and infrastructure have yet to be seen in Clark, I think it would be much better if we utilize those facilities in the Philippine Arena which are only waiting to be showcased,” Villanueva said.
The senator further expressed his support to our country’s hosting of 2019 SEA Games as it will serve as a good opportunity to boost our sports and tourism sector.
“Apart from showcasing the beauty of the Philippines and the hospitality of our people, the country’s hosting of SEA Games gives us the opportunity to prioritize our sports sector, particularly the training of our athletes, and to fill in the gaps in our sports program facilities,” Villanueva said.