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PSC seeks Palace OK on SEAG hosting

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Ramirez feels Manila ought to be main hub.

The Philippine Sports Commission has formally informed Malacañang about the country’s bid to stage the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said a letter will be handed over to President Rodrigo Duterte by way of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea seeking for a Letter of Guarantee.

Ramirez said the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), which will handle the actual staging, has expressed interest in making Davao City, hometown of the president, as the main hub.

But Ramirez feels that while Davao City has what it takes to host the biennial sportsfest, Manila is much better equipped, having been the 2005 host when the Philippines emerged as overall titleholder for the first time.

Davao City and its environs are home to several sports centers and plans are afoot for the construction of a University of the Philippines campus there.

While it is a novel idea to bring the Seag to Mindanao as efforts are underway by the administration to make it a safer place, Ramirez insists Manila is the safer bet.

But whether it is Manila or Davao, Ramirez maintains that it will be the President who will have the final say.

POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangoco is attending a SEAG Federation Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week and the country’s desire to be the 2019 host will also be on the agenda.

For the 2019 SEAG to succeed, the PSC will task someone to handle the government’s partnership with the private sector, said Ramirez.

While Davao is ranked third behind Metro Manila and Cebu as the country’s leading cities, it hasn’t hosted a major international sports meet.