Philippines vows to finish SEA Games on time despite Tisoy onslaught

Willard Cheng and Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2019 03:10 PM

Athletes and officials from the Philippines march during opening ceremonies of the Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan province, Nov. 30, 2019. Contributed photo

MANILA- The 30th Southeast Asian Games will finish as scheduled on Dec. 11, organizers promised on Tuesday, even as Typhoon Tisoy (international name: Kammuri) threatened to delay the regional sports meet.

The Philippine SEA Games Organizational Committee (PHISGOC) assured delegates that it has taken necessary measures to ensure the safety of everyone participating in the Games.

"Trust that we have storm-proofed the Games, with several alternate plans queued to ensure that this biennial meet doesn’t go beyond its scheduled finish on Dec. 11," PHISGOC said in a statement.

"We want everyone to prioritize their security during their stay here and wish that they continue to enjoy the 30th SEA Games with the authentic spirit of sportsmanship," it added.

The Philippines hosted a festive opening of the Games last Saturday, the same day the storm entered the country. It is expected to be felt in Metro Manila and Central Luzon, home to SEA Games sporting venues.

Some of the events in the biennial meet, particularly outdoor sports, have been rescheduled due to strong winds and heavy rains brought by the typhoon over the past few days.

Malacañang on Tuesday said officials have agreed to suspend outdoor sporting events when Signal No. 1 is raised in the area where the games are scheduled. 

All sporting events, meanwhile, will be suspended once signal no. 2 is hoisted, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said.

The Philippine's 2019 hosting of the Games marks its fourth time to cater the regional sports tournament. It previously hosted the Games in 1981, 1991, and in 2005.

More than 5,000 athletes are participating in the games.