By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – It’s high time for the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Friendship Games to be brought next year to Davao City where the sub-regional economic cooperation was founded in 1994, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey said.
Maxey noted, Monday, that the city has never hosted the BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games since its inception in 1996 or two years after the economic sub-region had been established.
The PSC official said General Santos City hosted the sports event twice, the first edition in 1996 and 2012, some 16 years later, while the Puerto Princesa, Palawan in 2003.
Davao City was supposed to host the sports event in 2010 but this did not push through.
He said the PSC has yet to submit a formal offer to the City Government of Davao to host the sports event next year, although they have shown an audiovisual presentation on Davao as the venue during the BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games in Brunei in 2018.
He believes the city will be ready by 2020 since it has sufficient accommodations and facilities such as the 20-hectare world-class Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports Complex in the UP-Mindanao campus in Tugbok.
Maxey said around 1,500 participants including delegation officials, will converge in the city for the BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games in 2020, a development that will strengthen the city’s bid to become a sports tourism destination.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson said the idea of hosting various major sports event like the BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games was no longer farfetched with the opening of the sports complex.