Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President expressed interest to take over the hosting duties for another Southeast Asian Games in the near future if a supposed host country withdraws.

/ 25 November 2020

Tolentino, who bared the development three days before the POC held its election with the Cavite representative seeking a fresh mandate, made his intention known during a recent SEA Games Federation Council meeting.

Tolentino also said the next SEA Games the country will host will be held again at the New Clark City Sports Complex as the main venue.

The SEA Games hosting is rotated among member countries; however, the order may be changed if a host country refuses and decides it cannot hold the games.

Just like when the Philippines was considering backing out of the 30th SEA Games hosting three years ago, Thailand expressed its enthusiasm to take over.

Matagal na uli ang susunod eh,” said Tolentino. “Kung tutuusin, 20 years ang next kung susundin mo ang cycle. Sayang naman, sayang ang momentum.”

The Philippines is still in a winning momentum from the victorious overall championship last year after collecting 149 gold medals from 56 sports and 530 events.

Tolentino uttered that the Philippines are ready to play host after the next three SEA Games that will be held in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

The 2027, 2029, and 2031 SEA Games have yet to be assigned to host countries, with Brunei, Laos, Indonesia next in line.

Sisiguraduhin kong nasa minutes (of the meeting) na I offered to host if ever there will be countries na magwe-waive,” said Tolentino. “Magkasunod ‘yung Brunei and Laos so alin man sa dalawa ang mag-back out, nauna akong mag-offer. I was serious in that.”

According to Tolentino, Indonesia has a tendency to back out of the SEA Games hosting due to its bid for the 2032 Olympics.

Sabi ng Indonesian (Olympic committee) president, baka hindi sila makapag-host and it’s a pleasure if the Philippines will take it. Ang reason nila, 2032, serious ang bid nila sa Olympics. Hindi sila puwedeng mag-host ng SEA Games and Olympics. Definitely, they are preparing for the Olympics,” said Tolentino.

“It helps the country kapag nag-host tayo. Tataas ang rating, tataas ang economy, tourism. May domino effect. Kung hindi lang dahil sa Taal (eruption) at COVID, ang ganda ng tama sa ekonomiya because of that,” said Tolentino.