‘Our athletes gave their all for the country’

Senator-elect Alan Peter Cayetano congratulated the Philippine national team for bagging the fourth place overall at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam which ended Monday, saying they gave their all to bring pride and honor to the country.

“A big congratulations to our athletes on winning fourth place for our country. Thank you for pouring your heart, mind, and soul onto the SEA Games,” Cayetano said on May 22, 2022.

The Philippine team composed of 981 athletes, coaches, and officials finished off the SEA Games with 52 gold, 70 silver, and 104 bronze medals, for a total of 226.

Vietnam, the host country of this year’s SEA Games, emerged on top, followed by Thailand in second place and Indonesia third.

“All things considered, we did very well sa SEA Games na ito. We have to remember na medyo on-and-off ang training ng athletes natin during the pandemic. And to put it in perspective, ito ang isa sa biggest medal hauls natin sa games na hindi dito sa Pilipinas ginawa,” Cayetano said.

The Philippines had won first place with a total of 387 medals when the country hosted the SEA Games in 2019, during which it was Cayetano who chaired the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC).

The Senator-elect also said the Philippines can now focus on future games now that the threat of the pandemic is subsiding and our athletes can focus on their training.

The Philippine National Team is set to participate in the World Games in July.

Cayetano said he is confident that the Filipino athletes will bring home medals again for the country.

“I’m excited sa mga susunod pang sports competitions na lalahukan ng ating talented at dedicated athletes. Nasa momentum na tayo. Our quest for gold continues,” he said.
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Call for support
Meanwhile, Cayetano reiterated his call for sufficient financial and educational support from the government to Filipino athletes.

“Imagine kung full-support pa ang ating gobyerno sa ating athletes, from their education to training to expenses. Kayang-kaya nating maging champion sa international events,” he said.

The Senator-elect vowed to follow-through the development of the National Academy of Sports which he mentioned was a “good step towards giving our athletes what they need and deserve.”

He also reiterated his push for the development of sports tourism, saying sports can not only generate billions of dollars for the country’s economy but can also be a tool in “raising a generation of healthy and disciplined Filipinos.”

“There are many advantages that sports can do for our society and the economy. A lot of industries — car rentals, catering, hotels, event organizers, et cetera — can earn income from sports tourism events,” he cited.

The Philippines earned more than P500 million in revenue from hosting the 12-day SEA Games in 2019.

According to the World Tourism Organization, sports tourism generates annual revenues of USD800 billion, and is projected to grow by more than USD890 during 2021 to 2025.

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