SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Facilities that will serve as venue for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 will undergo upgrading in time for Subic’s co-hosting of the sporting event on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said massive repair work will be undertaken at sports facilities like Remy Field and Subic Gym here despite the onset of the rainy season.
“We’re right on schedule,” Eisma said, describing the preparations here for the 30th edition of the biennial competition. “The Subic venues will be completed in time for the SEA Games.”
The Subic Bay Freeport will be the venue for 16 out of the 56 sports scheduled for the 2019 SEA Games, which will involve participants from the 11 countries comprising Southeast Asia.
Eisma said that for this purpose, the SBMA has signed agreements with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to improve the facilities here, with SBMA as project fund source and DPWH as lead implementing agency.
“We have the funds, but we don’t have the technical expertise,” Eisma explained. “So partnering with the DPWH is the most logical choice.”
Under the agreements, DPWH will prepare all the plans, designs, technical specifications and cost estimate for the building construction, as well as hire contractors for the projects. It will also provide the SBMA with project status reports from contractors to serve as bases for payment.
Remy Field, which contains a track oval, will get an upgrade with a new nine-lane track from the previous six, as well as a covered viewing stand. It will be rehabilitated at the cost of P127,805,000.
Meanwhile, the Subic Gym will get a new facade and interior upgrade at the price of P5,700,000.
Upgrading of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center will be handled by DPWH national office.
The SBMA chief said the quality of the sports venues in Subic would significantly define the SEA Games experience for delegates, as well as the general impression of how Philippines hosted the event.
“That is why we want to make sure that our facilities will be at par with SEA Games standards,” Eisma said. “We will be hosting foreign athletes, and giving them a great venue would also mean a great tourism calling card for Subic.”
SEA Games events will be held in eight venues in Subic: Remy Field, which will be used for training and cultural presentations; Subic Bay Sports Complex, venue for sepak takraw, beach volleyball and beach handball; Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center for muay Thai, pencak silat and table tennis; and the SBMA Boardwalk for triathlon, duathlon, and modern pentathlon.
Meanwhile, privately-owned venues will also be used for other SEA Games events: Subic Bay Yacht Club for sailing and windsurfing; Kamana Sanctuary Resort for traditional boat race and canoe and kayak; Subic Bay Travellers Hotel for chess; and Acea Subic Bay resort for rowing.
Eisma said that in most venues here, the SBMA will provide lounges, practice areas, medical stations, dressing rooms, media interview areas, and even prayer rooms for use of the various sports delegations.
The Philippines last hosted the biennial SEA Games 14 years ago, with Subic as venue for archery, canoeing, sailing and triathlon out of the 40 sports competitions held.
For the 2019 edition of the Games, Subic, along with New Clark City, Metro Manila, and the Batangas, La Union and Tagaytay cluster, will be the venue for some 523 events in 56 sports fields. (Dante M. Salvana)