By Jennifer C. Tilos
The Department of Education (DepEd) has confirmed that Dumaguete City in partnership with the provincial Government of Negros Oriental will be the ideal host of the ASEAN Schools Games slated this November 2020.
DepEd OIC-Undersecretary Atty. Revsee Escobedo said the city, with the support of the provincial government, is capable of ensuring that the 12th edition of the ASEAN Schools Games would be most memorable in the history of the annual meet of the best student-athletes in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Escobedo stressed that upon learning that it is the turn of the Philippines to host the ASEAN Schools Games, it was almost a unanimous decision that Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental will be the host of the annual international meet as announced by Deped Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones.
He cited the efficient and long experience of Dumaguete City in successfully hosting national sports events like the Palarong Pambansa, National University Games, Little League Philippines, and Batang Pinoy.
“The readiness and proximity of the playing venues, the total support of the local officials led by Governor Roel Degamo and Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, the efficiency and capability of the working committees, world-class tourist destinations, good hotels and the hospitality of the people make Dumaguete City the best host for the games,” Escobedo said.
This also strengthens Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo’s thrust to make the city one of the prime sports tourism destinations in the Visayas region and the country.
For two straight years in 2017 and 2018, Dumaguete City has been awarded as the Best Sports Tourism Organizer of the Year and runner-up as Sports Tourism Destination of the Year next to Subic Bay Freeport in 2017 by the Philippine Sports Tourism Forum.
The 12th ASEAN Schools Games adopts the theme: “Inspire, Play and Experience,” which according to Escobedo would prove Dumaguete City capable of hosting one of the most memorable sports events in the game’s history.
Both the Philippine Sports Commission and DepEd will look for means in order to upgrade or build the sports facilities for athletics, swimming, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, archery, and sepak takraw since it is an international commitment of the Philippines as a country to make sure that the games will be successful.
Escobedo estimates some 3,000 foreign and Filipino athletes to gather in Dumaguete City, in addition to the expected arrival of their supporters and the ministers of Sports and Education of the 10 member ASEAN countries.