Philippine Olympic Committee to appeal Duterte’s decision on SEA Games

Jose Cojuangco, the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), wants to hold a meeting with the country’s President, Rodrigo Duterte, in the hope of salvaging the hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Duterte, through the Philippine Sports Commission, has declared that the country will no longer host the multi-sport event, with the government instead intending to use the money required to invest in war-torn areas of Mindanao.

The POC voted unanimously at its general assembly yesterday (Wednesday) to appeal against the commission’s decision.

“I will appoint a group to work on the plan of action and figure out the financial requirement,” POC president Jose Cojuangco said during the meeting. “We'll try to arrange a meeting with the President and directly appeal to him.”

To reduce costs, the POC plans to streamline the calendar for the Games by only hosting Olympic and Asian Games events, according to Cojuangco.

POC board member Robert Mananquil said that the Games would largely be privately-funded, with the government handling security management and immigration procedures.

The Philippines, which hosted the event most recently in 2005, was awarded the hosting rights to the 2019 Games after Brunei pulled out. The event was expected to take place across Manila or Davao City.