JAKARTA—Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday revealed that the Philippines intends to bid for hosting rights for the 2030 Asian Games, even as the country is still preparing for the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) next year.
“Maybe you should be the first to know outside the small group. We actually want to bid for the 2030 Asian Games,” Cayetano told ABS-CBN News on Sunday night at the Ritz Carlton in Jakarta.
Cayetano, who also heads the organizing committee for the 2019 SEA Games, said they were encouraged by the support of Erick Thohir, the businessman who chairs the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee.
It was Thohir who initially floated the idea of the Philippines hosting the 2030 Games all the way back in May.
“Personally, as partners of the Philippines, I'm really sure that the next step for the Philippines can be hosting the Asian Games in 2030,” Thohir had said back then, as he attended a press conference where the country’s sports stakeholders provided updates on the SEA Games hosting.
“With all the infrastructure that you are building for the SEA Games, I think it will be a waste if you don't have other big events.”
Cayetano said Thohir’s statement “encouraged us so much.”
With the 2030 Games still more than a decade away, that gives the Philippines enough time to build the facilities necessary to hold such a massive event.
“As it is, we are already adding (facilities) in and around Clark and Subic,” said Cayetano.
“We want to use the momentum for the SEA Games and the (2020) Para Games to keep building the facilities,” he added. “Build the facilities, and help the athletes.”
Cayetano could not immediately provide details regarding their bid, deferring instead to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Ricky Vargas.
If the Philippines win the hosting rights, it will mark only the second time since 1954 that the continental showcase will be held in the country.
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