PH 100% ready to host 2019 SEA Games – Cayetano

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019   •   601

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who also heads the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), announced that the country is now 100 percent ready to host the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November.

After inspecting the sports complex in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac on Wednesday, Cayetano said the facilities to be used for the event have been completed.

“We are 100% ready. Now ang challenges natin ay ‘yung day-to-day. Remember, you’ll have more than 20,000 people, you’ll have 56 sports and around 500 events, so, handling all of these, the traffic, ‘yung food, ‘yung pangangailangan ng athletes, angal ng mga coaches, tapos may mga royalty and head of states… so it’s really the 11 days.

The Philippines will host the SEA Games from November 30 to December 11, 2019. Around 12,000 athletes and their coaches, 1,000 international media members, 15,000 volunteers, and spectators, among others are expected to participate and watch the games.

It is said to be the biggest SEA Games yet as it features 56 sports and 530 events in 44 venues. Although these events will be conducted in various parts of Luzon, a bulk of these tournaments will be held in Metro Manila.

Cayetano said they are now finalizing details for various aspects of the event, including logistics and security, to ensure that all aspects of the SEA Games would be properly handled.

He added they have been conducting several rehearsals and walkthroughs to anticipate possible issues that may be encountered throughout the biennial meet.

“Ang nangyayari ngayon rehearse nang rehearse, practice nang practice, meet nang meet. Yung walkthrough importante kasi hindi mo naman makikita ang problema nang hindi muna dinadaanan,” Cayetano said.

“Sa airport lang eh, halos sabay sabay dadating yung mga delegates. Remember, we have to treat the athletes well at ayaw nating ma-accuse na na-hassle sila kaya naapektuhan ang performance nila,” he added.

He also noted that most hurdles faced during the preparations were caused by the budget delay but these have already been addressed through the initiative of the event sponsors and contributions in cash and in kind from private groups.

Cayetano also admitted that heavy traffic, especially in the venues of sporting events in Metro Manila, will be a big challenge during the SEA Games but he assured that the security group is working on a plan to ensure the comfort and convenience of all guests and participants.

They are also eyeing the possibility of declaring holidays in certain cities as well as the closing lanes in several roads to ease the volume of vehicles.

“We have to show the 10 other countries participating yung Filipino hospitality. On one sense we are competitors. We want to win, and win as one. We want to be the overall champion, but we want to win it fairly and squarely. So yung preparations, especially sa athletes, coaches and technical officials ay napaka-importante,” he said.

PH bags 4 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze medals at 2019 World Para Bowling Tour

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019

The Philippines won 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze at the recent 2019 World Para Bowling Tour held in Manila from November 14 to 20.

The Philippines has bagged a total of 10 medals, placing second to Malaysia that has a total of 26 medals.—AAC

MMDA asks public to cooperate with traffic schemes for SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Friday called on the public to cooperate with all the traffic schemes to be implemented for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in various parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

Among the traffic schemes that the MMDA will enforce for SEA Games will be the traffic-and-go scheme along EDSA and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, billeting hotels, sporting venues and other areas of game engagements to allow convoys of delegates, sports officials, athletes, spectators and other guests to pass through.

In a statement, MMDA chairman Danilo Lim asked for the public’s cooperation to give way to the convoys.

“We are on track with our traffic preparations. We ask for motorists’ and commuters’ cooperation in giving way to the convoys of the athletes and delegates participating in the event our country is hosting,” Lim said.

The agency also earlier announced that no dedicated lanes will be assigned for the SEA Games delegates.

Convoy carrying delegates will use the yellow lane, flyover and underpasses while traveling along EDSA.

“Occasional traffic disruption and temporary stops are expected on roads and intersections where convoys would pass,” Lim said.

The MMDA said it will deploy 2,000 traffic personnel in key areas in the metropolis to help manage traffic flow with 122 to be deployed every 100 meters along EDSA.

“A no-day off, no absent policy will be enforced among assigned traffic enforcers from November 30 to December 11,” said Lim.

Days before the event, the MMDA said that arriving delegates will travel from the airport in Pasay City to their billeting hotels in cities of Manila, Pasig, Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong and Quezon City in Metro Manila areas in Central and Southern Luzon; and from the airport to the regional venues in Clark, Subic, and Southern Luzon.

The SEA Games opening ceremonies will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on November 30, Saturday.

On this day, delegates are expected to travel from Metro Manila to Philippine Arena in the afternoon. Point-to-point buses have been designated to transport spectators and guests to the Philippine arena to avoid traffic congestion.

The MMDA and Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit said the following roads will be closed from 12:01 am on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

• Along Adriatico – from Pres Quirino to P. Ocampo (both bound directions)

• Along P. Ocampo – from Taft Ave. to Adriatico (westbound direction only)

Authorities advised motorists to use the following alternate routes:

• All vehicles coming from Taft Ave going westbound lane of Pres. Quirino intending to left turn Adriatico St. shall go straight to Roxas Blvd or Mabini St. to point of destination.

• All vehicles coming from Taft Ave intended to use westbound lane of P. Ocampo shall use Menlo St. then Donada to destination.

• All vehicles coming from Roxas or FB Harrison utilizing eastbound lane of P. Ocampo intending to utilize Adriatico St. shall go straight to Taft Ave to point of destination.

• All vehicles coming from Roxas or FB Harrison utilizing eastbound lane of Pres. Quirino intending to utilize Adriatico St. shall go straight to Taft Ave to point of destination.

The MMDA also advised the public to expect delays on roads toward the sports and non-sports venues within Metro Manila: Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Cuneta Astrodome, SM Mall of Asia Arena, SM MOA Skating Rink, World Trade Center, Philippine International Convention Center Forum, SM Megamall, Filoil Flying V Centre, Filinvest City, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Gym, Marine Corps, Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Starmall EDSA, Makati Coliseum, Manila Hotel tent, SM Megamall Ice Rink, World Trade Center, Philsports Arena, Amoranto Sports Complex,  and Manila Polo Club.

The closing ceremonies of SEA Games will be held at the Athletics Stadium at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

Immigration braces for passenger influx during SEA Games, holiday season

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2019

Foreign nationals arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R, MALASIG)

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said it has placed its officers on heightened alert amid the expected surge of passengers due to the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the holiday rush.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said they are projecting around 8,000 delegates, including spectators for the SEA Games which will start on Nov. 30, while a 3% increase in arrivals and departures is expected during the holiday season in December.

“We are certain that there will be more tourists and balikbayans who will be flying in this Christmas,” he said in a statement.

Data from the BI showed that more than 1.5 million passengers arrived in the country and more than 1.2 million left in December 2018.

In anticipation of a surge of travelers in the coming weeks, the bureau said it is enforcing a “no leave, no absences” policy for its officers during the SEA Games and holiday rush.

“Our men have been instructed not to go on leave during the peak season to maximize our manpower,” BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina said.

The bureau also advised passengers anew to arrive at least three hours before their scheduled flights and to bear with possible line queues.

The agency said build-ups can sometimes happen when delayed flights arrive simultaneously especially during peak season.

“We appeal to everyone to bear with us should there be some build-up, which sometimes happens during peak seasons. But you can be assured that processing is now much faster following the numerous improvements we have implemented in our international ports,” Medina said.

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