The Philippines have confirmed their withdrawal from hosting the 2019 SEA Games, citing the government’s decision to pull out funding and use the money instead for the restoration of conflict-hit areas in Mindanao.
According to a letter the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez has sent to Philippine Olympic Committee president (POC) Jose Cojuangco, the “problem of terrorism and atrocities” in Marawi, Mindanao is stated as the reason for this decision.
“The government accepted the chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017 to be worlds partner of change with great enthusiasm and eagerness. It is in the manner it showed interest in hosting the 2019 30th SEA Games,” the PSC chairman said.
“However, due to the current situation in Mindanao and the problem in terrorism and atrocities, we regret to inform you that we will no longer pushed (sic) through with the hosting of the biennial event. It has been resolved that the government resources be focused in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Mindanao specifically Marawi.”
Previously, The Philippines was awarded the hosting of the SEA Games during the SEA Games Federation meeting in 2015 after Brunei had pulled off, blaming a lack of venues and preparation time.
The last time the country hosted the Games was in 2005, when the country settled for the top place, amassing 113 gold medals.