CLARK FREEPORT -- Excitement stirs up as the world-class New Clark City sports complex shows the country's readiness to host the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
This was evident during the site visit of Senator Christopher Go, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who is also the chairman of the Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), and members of the House of Representatives' committee on youth and sports development in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac.
"With these state-of-the-art facilities, we can show the athletes and guests from our neighboring countries that the Philippines is more than capable of hosting international sports events," Go said.
Go added that through the New Clark City development, national athletes will have "easy access to world-class sports facilities and therefore be able to develop their full potential, [and] winning in international sports competitions will be a regular achievement for Filipino athletes in the years to come."
Built within 18 months since it broke ground in January 2018, Phase 1A of the New Clark City National Government Administrative Center is now 99 percent complete.
The sports facilities, which include the 20,000-seater Athletics Stadium, have been certified as a Class 1 Athletics Facility by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). This means that the stadium meets the global standards for international competition facilities, along with the 2,000-seater Aquatics Center that is accredited by the Federation Internationale De Natation (Fina).
"We are so inspired by the facilities because [these] prove the point of our athletes that with more support, we can have a world-class sports program," Cayetano underscored.
"Our athletes and advocates of sports have been so persistent, asking us to support more. Yes, we have steadily increased the amount we give to medalists but many times have the coaches, the parents, and the teachers in our elementary and high schools told us 'we need a grassroots program,'" the Speaker added.
BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon thanked Go and Cayetano for their initiatives to have modern training facilities for national athletes -- a proposal from which the New Clark City sports complex was brought to life.
The legislators also visited the proposed site of the Philippine High School for Sports, which will serve as the training ground of future national athletes. Construction for the said school will start in 2021.
"This is proof that the Duterte government is faithful and serious in its promise of building the best facilities for Filipinos, especially to our athletes who bring pride and glory to our country in their competitions," Dizon said.
Other officials present in the event were Ambassador Jose Garspar Piedade of Timor Leste, Ambassador Ly Quoc Tuan of Vietnam, Ambassador Hajah Johariah binti Haji Abdul Wahab of Brunei Darussalam, Tarlac Second District Representative Victor Yap, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap, Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda, Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda, Philippine Olympic Committee president Congressman Abraham Tolentino, Commissioner Celia Kiram of the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC), PSC Commissioner Arnold Agustin, Phisgoc Chief Operating Officer Ramon Suzara, Government Service Insurance System chairman and concurrent acting president and general manager Rolando Macasaet, MTD Clark Inc. chairman Isaac David, and MTD Clark Inc. president Engr. Patrick Nicholas David. (PR)