FILE–Athletes and officials from the Philippines march during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games) at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on November 30, 2019. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)
MANILA, Philippines–The preparations for the next Philippine hosting of the Southeast Asian Games will come earlier than expected.
Three years removed from the triumphant conquest of Team Philippines as host of the 2019 SEA Games, Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino made a bold bid to stage the biennial meet again in 2033.
“We offered a bid to host anew in 2033 and the council unanimously approved,” said Tolentino after he pushed for the country’s fifth hosting at the SEA Games Federation Council Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Wednesday.
The nation hosted its most successful SEA Games back in 2019 where the Philippines captured the overall title under Tolentino’s watch as POC chief.
After Vietnam staged the Games two months ago, it will be the turn of Cambodia to stage the 11-nation meet next year, after which the regional sportsfest will return to Bangkok in 2025, Kuala Lumpur in 2027, Singapore in 2029 and Laos in 2031.
According to Tolentino, the 2033 hosting will be formally presented to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Malacanang for the official acceptance of the Philippine government.
“After presenting the hosting bid to the council, and following its approval, the POC and the SEA Games Council will ask the Philippine government to issue a letter of support,” said Tolentino, who was accompanied by POC deputy secretaries generals Bones Floro and Carl Sambrano in Phnom Penh.
“If the government declines, the hosting chores will be offered to another country,” added Tolentino.