GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) -- General Santos city will play host to this year’s 7th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Friendship Games slated on December 8-12 as agreed during a meeting held here recently.
The upcoming sports event shall be spearheaded by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in partnership with Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio of General Santos City and Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez of the Province of Saranggani.
“Among the games to be played are lawn tennis, athletics (track and field), badminton, sepak takraw, swimming and table tennis”, said Joaquin Loyzaga, PSC commissioner.
He added that each country will have separate teams for boys and girls, except for sepak takraw which will be exclusive for boys.
The event is open to all athletes aged 21 years old and below and must come from the BIMP-EAGA member countries.
During the meeting, a roadshow covering the four participating countries was proposed by the General Santos City Tourism Office to help promote culture, tourism, sports and trade, and improve linkages and ties between the delegates and their respective countries along with the event itself.
Commissioner Loyzaga said they are hoping to bring more sports programs outside of Manila especially to Mindanao and schedule more of such programs as possible.
Moreover, Mindanao Development Authority chair Luwalhati Antonino said that the BIMP-EAGA friendship games affords opportunity not just for sports development but also for tourism promotion and improvement of the ties among the focus areas of EAGA.
"We are advancing our BIMP-EAGA initiatives in this particular area of cooperation to promote the sub-region as a melting pot of sports talents and world class athletes while showcasing our great culture" said Antonino who is also the Philippine Signing Minister to EAGA.
BIMP-EAGA is an economic cooperation formally created in 1994 covering the entire Brunei Darussalam; 10 provinces in the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan, Sulawesi,â€¨Maluku and Irian Jaya; Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan in Malaysia; and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines.
The ASEAN sub-grouping is a mechanism primarily intended to spur development in the lagging sub-economies of the member countries by boosting intra-EAGA trade, tourism and investments. (MinDA)