PHISGOC conducts 2019 SEA Games test event

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2019   •   433

The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) has conducted test events at the New Clark City in preparation for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Various local and foreign athletes participated in the test events, which began on Saturday (October) 26. Games featured include high jump, long jump, javelin throw, individual and synchronized swimming.

Technical Diving Committee Chairperson Marie Dimanche is happy with the turnout during the event.

“The purpose of the test events is to, you know, get a feel of our readiness for the Southeast Asian games in terms of preparations,” she said.

Meanwhile, Filipino athletes are happy because aside from having a home-court advantage, the country also has world-class facilities.

Triple jump gold medalist Mark Harry Diones is happy to have such advantage.

“Malaking advantage po iyong home court mas nakaka-high morale (A home court advantage boosts high morale),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

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.

NCRPO to beef up security in venues, billet areas, ‘nightspots’ for SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2019

NCRPO acting director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas

MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday said it will beef up security at venues, billeting area and identified nightspots in the region as part of the security measures for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

NCRPO acting director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said they will heighten police visibility in areas, such as bars and other nightclubs, that will most likely be visited by SEA Games delegates and other foreign guests.

Sinas said this aims to prevent the possibility of foreign guests getting involved in troubles during the Philippines’ hosting of the games from November 30 to December 11.

“We have anticipated all the possible scenarios based on what happened in the past. So we are increasing the security in those areas which we call most-likely tourist spots in Metro Manila,” he told reporters in a briefing.

He added that thousands of cops will be deployed to secure sporting venues and hotels where athletes and other delegates would be billeted. K-9 units will also be deployed to strengthen the security in venues for the SEA Games.

Sinas also reminded those who will go to the sporting venues to watch the games to refrain from bringing prohibited items such as bottles, cigarettes, firecrackers and other flammable materials, laser pointers, gas spray cans, banners, folding chairs, ladders, and large bags.

Bringing weapons or any sharp objects is also not allowed.

“Including ‘yung maliliit lang, ‘yung mga nail cutters kasama po yun, basta magamit po na pamputol, pang-stab at tsaka pangpalipad, bawal ‘yan,” he said.

The NCRPO chief said that the police and SEA Games coordinators have agreed to implement a clear bag policy which means only transparent bags will be allowed inside the venues.

Last week, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced the suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and La Union from November 20 to December 14.

Sinas said no security threat was monitored so far but police personnel remains on alert for any untoward incident. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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