By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia revealed during a recent press conference that he has sought the assistance of Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) partylist Rep. Mark Sambar to recommend the city as a venue for Southeast Asian (SEA) Games competitions, scheduled to be hosted by the Philippines in 2019.
The mayor said his preferred sport would be football, saying it garners larger crowds.
He said a similar agreement was earlier forged with Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who chairs the 2019 SEA Games organizing committee.
Leonardia said he hopes Sambar raises the issue with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez, adding he would bring up the subject as well if given the opportunity.
“I have the whole city of Bacolod, and even the province of Negros Occidental, backing me on that,” he affirmed.
Sambar, meanwhile, said Clark in Pampanga and cities throughout Metro Manila have already been selected for some of the scheduled events.
The party-list representative also confirmed he would forward the mayor’s proposal to both Ramirez and SEA Games Organizing Committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano.
“It’s the least I can do,” he added. “I’m in good terms with Secretary Cayetano so it’s not a problem.”
When the SEA Games were last hosted by the Philippines in 2005, Bacolod City served as host to boxing, football, weightlifting, and volleyball events./DGB, WDJ