CAPAS, Tarlac—While three earth-moving backhoes were busy lifting soil from the ground, Foreign Affairs’ Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday made assurances that facilities to be used for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will be ready two months before the biennial meet.
Cayetano, who is the SEA Games 2019 Organizing Committee Chairman, showed to the public the area that will be made available for the Games during a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday by the Bases Conversion Development inside a 9,450-hectare farmland here.
It will be part of the P13.6-billion Phase 1A of the New Clark City, which will have a track oval and an Olympic-sized pool that will be located inside the Aquatics and Athletics’ Center.
The athletics’ stadium will have a seating capacity of 20,000, while the aquatics’ center can accommodate 2,000.
The facilities, according to Cayetano, will be up and running around October, 2019, two months before the Games get going in December.
“It will be ready a ready a few months before the games. Having said that, (PSC chairman William) Ramirez has also identified facilities inside and outside Metro Manila (for the Games). We can see what happened to the place where they held APEC. Beautiful place. They picked the best place for APEC. But they were hit by heavy rains in some areas. So, we’re all praying the everything goes well,” said Cayetano.
“These are just two major projects. But there are a lot more sports facilities that we’re going to be building,” added Cayetano, who talked about the facilities with Sen. Joel Villanueva, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports.
There are three phases in the construction of facilities inside the NCC, with Phase 1 all about the construction of a National Government Administrative Center.
Once Phase 1A is completed, Phase 1B begins with the construction of additional government facilities on a 20-hectare area.
The 200-hectare NGAC was the first to begin construction four months ago.
Cayetano, along with Chairman Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco Jr. joined high-ranking officials from the national government and the local government units during the ceremony, which included a bamboo-planting and time-capsule burial rites.
BCDA president Vince Dizon said the event marks a great day with the development of a new business and economic hub in the country.
Presidential Adviser on Sports Dennis Uy joined the occasion with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.
Tarlac Gov. Susan Yap and Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan were also in attendance.
The SEAG Organizing Committee is still undecided where to hold the opening ceremony.
“We’re still discussing that,” added Cayetano.