By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The Philippines should think hard before pursuing a bid to host bigger sporting events because of financial constraints, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday.
While he believes that the country is capable of organizing international sports events like the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Sotto said the government should carefully think about hosting bigger ones, such as the Asian Games.
The possibility of the Philippines organizing the 2030 Asian Games cropped up after Olympic Council of Asia vice-president Wei Jizhong, in praising the this year’s hosting of the SEA Games, suggested that the country consider bidding for the hosting rights of the quadrennial sports event.
Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara said there would be no harm in pursuing the hosting of the Asian Games.
“Sa tingin ko kayang-kaya (I think we can). We have enough talent. Ang problema lang doon is magkano, so dapat pag-isipang mabuti. Pagka mas malaki sa Southeast Asian Games, kailangang pag-isipang mabuti yung funding. (But the problem with that is how much it will cost us, so we should think about this carefully. If we would be hosting events bigger than the SEA Games, we should consider the funding),” Sotto told reporters Tuesday.
The Senate leader said it would be more possible if the private sector and sponsors will chip in funds for the hosting of such an event.
“Kung later on ang private sector ay tutulong para ‘yong Asian games or Olympics ay ika nga ay maisipang gawin sa Pilipinas, (If the private sector will help for the hosting of Asian Games or Olympics in the Philippines), that would put the Philippines in again a prominent position in the map, in the sporting world. Pero maganda kung makakasali ang private sector at maraming mga sponsors, pagka ganun, palagay ko, pwede. Pag puro gobyerno lang, medyo mabigat (It would be ideal if the private sectors and sponsors would participate, if ever this happens, then I think we can host. If the government does it alone, it would be very hard),” he said.
“Di baling Southeast Asian Games, merong component, I think mga P1.5 billion, coming from the private sector, okay na rin ‘yon. Kaya natin ‘yon (We can host it). Pero yung Asian Games or Olympics, medyo madugo, magastos ‘yon (But hosting Asian Games and Olympics would be quite bloody and expensive),” he added.
Sotto, meanwhile, said he was satisfied with how the country is managing the 30th SEA Games so far despite mishaps in the preparations.
But he said he would not object to investigations and auditing after the event, saying concerned officials should be accountable.
The 2018 Asian Games was held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The next Games will be organized by China in 2022, and Japan in 2026.