By Saul Pa-a
BIÑAN CITY, Laguna — Mayor Walfredo “Arman” R. Dimaguila Jr. said Biñan will use the hosting of women’s football and some men’s matches of the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games as an opportunity to promote the city’s cultural and heritage tourism.
“This is a historic first for the city and a big challenge for us to host the SEA Games,” Dimaguila said in a press conference on Monday.
“It is a great opportunity to show to the country and the international audience through the SEA Games that there is this Biñan City, thriving and making a mark, footprint in the national scene,” he added.
Dimaguila and Vice Mayor Angelo “Gel” B. Alonte formalized the hosting of the SEA Games by forging a memorandum of agreement with the 30th SEA Games Executive Committee director Tomas Carrasco Jr. and Metro Manila Venues Cluster Head Michael T. Verano at the Biñan Football Stadium.
“We are putting out best foot forward not only for hosting the sporting events, like a two-minute video that showcases Biñan not only for the “Puto Biñan” that it is famous for but on other tourism sites such as heritage sites like the old town hall, the sports venues, historic plaza, the Alberto Mansion, organic farm, among other sites,” Dimaguila said.
After the SEA Games, he said the city will also hold a series of events like district, provincial, and regional sports meets.
“The opportunity is more than enough to showcase our city,” he said.
Dimaguila said the city government had already sought guidance from the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) to assure successful hosting of the football matches of the biennial meeting.
He said hundreds of city marshals and barangay tanods (village peacekeepers) will be deployed to help police and military in securing the holding of the event from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.
“We look forward to a very successful hosting of both men’s and women’s football games here. Eventually, we hope this football stadium would be part of the national training center,” Carrasco said.
Carrasco said the SEA Games service contractors have assured to work day and night to make sure that all sports venues will be ready by the first week of November.
He said holding the women’s football and some men’s matches at the 15,000-seater Biñan Football Stadium would be a big help since Metro Manila has limited venues.
Aside from Biñan, two other areas in Laguna — Sta. Rosa and Los Baños have been chosen to host netball and floorball and indoor hockey, respectively.
The majority of the 529 events from 56 sports will be held in Metro Manila, Subic in Pampanga and New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
Over 10,000 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Vietnam are expected to attend the biennial sports event. (PNA)