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Calabarzon intensifies SEA Games preparations

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Calamba City -- Officials from various line agencies, police, military and local government units of the Task Group Southern Luzon in Region 4-A (Calabarzon) have prepared contingency plans for the smooth and successful co-hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.

“As Task Group Commander South Luzon, we gather concerned government agencies, police and military units so we can draw up the security and safety plan here in Southern Luzon on the possible scenario or event which may happen and the necessary actions and measures in any eventuality during the SEA Games,” Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) director, Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza told the media after the security task force conference and contingency planning here on Monday (Oct. 21).

Carranza said participants of the conference and planning sessions agreed that security and safety plans must be put in place in time for the prestigious biennial meet which the Philippines will host for the fourth time.

“Para pag merong isang contingency, hindi nagtuturuan (If there is a contingency (plan), we can avoid finger-pointing),” he stressed.

He said the role of each agency, local police, military command and LGUs have been identified during the conference based on the rigid plan to secure all athletes, sports officials and other guests.

Caranza said the Philippine National Police is reviewing other action plans of the host LGUs including those in Region 4-A which is composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

An estimated 9,840 athletes and team officials from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam will compete in 530 events from 56 sports to be held in 54 venues.

Among the sports that Calabarzon will host are polo to be held at the Miguel Romero Sports Club, Zobel Farm Polo Field in Batangas; cycling (Tagaytay City and Batangas); skateboarding (Tagaytay and Maragondon, Cavite); women’s football (Biñan Football Field and UP Football Stadium); underwater hockey (Vermosa Sports Hub, Imus City); netball (Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna); and floorball and indoor hockey (Los Baños Central Mall & Convention Center).

The Calabarzon Security Task Group has been tasked to secure the sports venues and athletes’ billeting areas in the region.

“It’s not all for sports events, because after the SEA Games, we also promote tourism as the athletes are also invited to visit our areas here such as in Laiya in San Juan, Batangas and other areas outside the region like an organized tour to Boracay,” Carranza said.

Aside from SEA Games, the region is also preparing for the hosting of the shoot fest to be held in Lipa City next month. Some 1,200 shooters from all over the world are expected to compete in the event.

“The ranks of government agencies are tapped. There is no event where the local government is not on-board, as they are really involved including their resources,” Carranza said.

Police Brig. Gen. Marlon V. Madrid, PRO-4A Deputy Regional Director for Administration, enjoined the Task Group Southern Luzon to work hard to secure all the participating athletes and officials of the SEA Games.

“Let us work as one team with a common goal against the lawless elements in the region that may endanger the lives of the sports officials, athletes, coaches, and the public not only in the activities but in the day-to-day lives of the inhabitants of Calabarzon as one of the most dynamic regions in the country,” Madrid said.

Col. Luis Maria T. Pascual, chief of the Regional Operations and Management Division, described the contingency plan as “not only a complete security package but also a public safety,” involving the Office of Civil Defense and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in case a natural disaster happens.

“Kaya rin tayo gumagawa ng ganito kasi ina-anticipate natin ang (that’s why we’re having this contingency planning for us to anticipate) natural disasters like the typhoon, flood, earthquake where we should have preparatory measures,” Pascual said in an interview with the Philippines News Agency.

Aside from Region 4-A, Metro Manila as well as Subic in Zambales and New Clark City in Tarlac will co-host the SEA Games. (PNA)

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