MANILA—The country's hosting of 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which capped off Wednesday with a record-breaking medal haul for the Philippines, was the best ever, according to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
"Salamat talaga sa Diyos na hindi lang nairaos kung hindi, napaka-successful," he said at the Games' closing ceremony in New Clark City, Tarlac.
Cayetano, also chairman of the organizing committee for this year's multi-sports biennial meet, said the country would help Vietnam who is set to host the next Games.
"We will help them. They are our brothers. May uniqueness din tayo dahil Filipino tayo. So it doesn't mean na kung hindi sing laki, they won't have a better SEA Games," he said when asked that Vietnam may trimmed down the sporting events in 2021.
"We're happy that this is the best SEA Games ever, but we'll support the next host... to have an even better SEA Games," Cayetano added.
The Games, he said, also brought in more than P1 billion in revenues.
"Definitely, sa tourism, more than P1 billion na ang revenues na pumasok. Initial pa lang 'yon," he said.
The Philippine government poured at least P6 billion from the public purse to host the 11-nation meet, which was initially marred by complaints on accommodation, food and transportation.
The Office of the Ombudsman had said it would conduct a fact-finding investigation on how funds for the regional event were handled. The investigation will include Cayetano as chair of Philippine Southeast Asian Games Committee (Phisgoc).
Team Philippines clinched the overall championship in the 30th SEA Games, amassing 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals. The national contingent surpassed its 2005 record and achieved its second top finish in the Games' history.—With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News