Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez announced on Thursday that the despite the setbacks the South East Asia Games will still be held in the Philippines.
Ramirez told media sources “I would like to inform the Southeast Asian Games Federation, our brothers and to all Filipino people and the Philippine sporting world that the order of the President no matter what of national interest and commitment to proceed with the November 30 SEA Games.”
President Rodrigo Duterte told Ramirez to keep the athletes focused on the preparations for the bicentennial multi-sport event. Despite what is happening inside of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
On Tuesday POC president Rickey Vargas resigned, and Joey Romasanta assumed the POC president position. However, not everyone was on board with the new president, and other members of the POC are now calling for a special election. According to the by-laws the POC president has to be an incumbent president of an Olympic sport. Romasanta is currently the vice president of Larong Volleyball.
The Southeast Asian (SEA) games is a multi-sporting event consisting of participants from 11 Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. According to the charter rules imposed by the SEAGF, a host nation must perform in at least 22 different sports.
For a sport to be included in the games at least four people must agree to take part in the game however sports that are played in the Asian Games and the Olympic Games are given priority. Some of the past games and sports include archery, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoeing, chess, cricket, driving, eSports, fencing, football, golf, handball, ice hockey, karate, and many more.
The 2019 SEA games will begin on Saturday, November 30th, 2019, and will conclude on Wednesday, December 11th. The games this year is expecting over 8,700 athletes, 56 sports, 12k volunteers, and 500 million viewers. The Philippines rank 4th in the SEA games medal count with just over 3,350 medals to date.