THE Provincial Government of Davao del Norte eyes to host the 10th Bimp-Eaga Friendship Games 2018 after its hosting of the Batang Pinoy 2016 National Championships on November 27 to December 2 in Tagum City.
Davao del Norte provincial sports coordinator Giovanni Gulanes bared this during Thursday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex of SM City Davao.
He said Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario earlier reiterated his intention to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the province to host the biennial games.
"Dry run daw itong Batang Pinoy sa Bimp-Eaga Games," he said, adding that though the national sportsfest for 17 years old and below athletes has a bigger number of expected delegates than that of the Bimp-Eaga Games, the latter still has a higher level of competition and standards.
Organizers expect some 14,000 delegates of athletes, coaches, and officials in this year's edition of the annual Batang Pinoy.
Gulanes and Davao del Norte provincial administrator Samson Sanchez will join the Philippines' delegation to the ninth Bimp-Eaga Friendship Games slated December 6 to 12 in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Gulanes said, "We were given slots to see how things are being done in the Eaga Games. A possible hosting of which will be a testing ground for us to host some events of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2019."
He, however, said that they were made to understand that Davao City is eyed as the main host of the 2019 SEA Games considering that the province is only as good as the hotel beds they can offer when it comes to hosting an international sporting meet as big as the SEA Games.
He added that building two more multi-purpose gymnasiums inside the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in the village of Mankilam, Tagum City is already in the pipeline to prepare for the Bimp-Eaga Games 2018 and SEA Games 2019.
He is confident that with the success of their 2015 Palarong Pamabansa hosting and the looming success of their 2016 Batang Pinoy hosting will give them an edge in playing host to bigger and more prestigious competitions.
Meanwhile, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey paid a courtesy visit to Palawan Provincial Administrator Joshua Bolusa on Friday and turned over Team Philippines' tracksuit set and other items for the province's delegation to the 9th Bimp-Eaga Friendship Games next month.
Palawan Governor Chavez Alvarez was not around during the courtesy call but still Maxey thanked him for supporting PSC through sending a delegation to the Games.