SAN JUAN, La Union — Northern Luzon’s surfing capital San Juan in La Union will host the surfing competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) on Dec. 1-10.
At least 40 athletes from the different nations in Southeast Asia are expected to compete in the regional sporting event.
Some are even expected to arrive in San Juan starting Nov. 24 to familiarize themselves with the environment and on the local prevailing weather condition.
A daily crowd of at least 4,000 foreign and local tourists are expected by authorities at the surfing venue during the ten-day duration of the sports event.
Security arrangements are already in place, said Colonel Ysmael Yu, deputy regional director for the operation of the Ilocos Region police.
The “Task Group La Union” headed by Brigadier General Joel Orduña has systematized the safety and security plan for the identified clusters during the international sporting event that include the traffic cluster, the parking cluster, the billeting cluster, and the evacuation cluster.
Colonel Yu will head the on-ground security and public safety; Commodore Caesar Bernard N. Valencia, the commander of Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL), for water security and safety; and Director Melchito M. Castro of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) for emergency preparedness and response.
“We are seriously preparing the contingency plans to secure all the athletes and the viewers of the surfing tournament considering that this is the first time for San Juan, La Union to host an event for the SEA Games,” said Yu.
This year’s biennial regional multi-sport event, which will be hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2019, marks the first major decentralization in the history of the games.
The competition’s venues are spread out in the 23 cities across the country, divided into 4 clusters, all located on the island of Luzon (Metro Manila, Clark, Subic/Olongapo, and a fourth cluster consisting of stand-alone venues like in San Juan, La Union.)
This is the fourth time that the Philippines will host the games and its first time since 2005. Previously, it also hosted the 1981 and 1991 editions of the games.
This year’s SEA Games is the first edition to include e-sports and obstacle courses, as well as having the highest number of sports in the history of the games at 56.
Eleven member-nations of the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) are expected to take part in the 2019 SEA Games to include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor, and Vietnam.
A record of 529 events in the 56 sports have been approved for competition for the 2019 SEA Games making this edition as the largest Southeast Asian Games in terms of the number of sports and events contested. ●