Gun ban imposed on Central Luzon, Manila, others
Location: Central Luzon, Philippines
Date Published: November 20, 2019
As part of the security measures for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) that the country is hosting, a gun ban will be enforced in La Union province, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and Calabarzon starting today until Dec. 14.
Some 10,000 athletes from Asia will compete in the games to be held in different venues in these four areas from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.
The Philippine National Police officer in charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, has issued a memorandum suspending permits to carry firearms outside of one’s residence for 24 days starting today. Policemen, soldiers and law enforcers assigned to the games are exempted from the ban.
About 1,100 policemen will secure Ciudad De Victoria facilities, including the Philippine Arena in Bocaue town, Bulacan province, the venue of the opening ceremony.
Police Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, the acting Central Luzon police chief, said more than 6,000 police personnel would be deployed to venues in the region, including Subic Bay Freeport.
“We would like to ensure activities to be free from the firearms-related incident and to assure the safety of all local and foreign delegates,” Gamboa said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has notified airmen about the “no-fly zones” in the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on opening day and in New Clark City in Pampanga on closing day. The CAAP said the notices to airmen (Notams) would restrict all aircraft operations within 6 kilometers (3 nautical miles) and restrict general aviation flights within 40 nautical miles of the Philippine Arena and New Clark City from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The “no-fly zones” also include restrictions on the operation of unmanned aircraft vehicles or drones, the CAAP added.
Airline operations at Clark International Airport will not be affected by the Notams.
Meanwhile, MTD Philippines president Nikko David said it completed the New Clark City athletics stadium in "record time" but still made sure that its quality was internationally certified to host big sports events including the Olympics
"The facility has been built for 18 months, but it usually takes 3 years. E-Sports International has done it in half the time with the quality required, so it was tested by a certified international body," said David on Tuesday, November 19, at the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum.
"It was done in record time but (still had) the quality required to host the Olympics."
MTD Philippines, the developer of New Clark City, together with E-sports International, a Filipino sports architecture and wellness solutions firm, completed the athletics stadium in time for the country's hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
According to David, the Philippine athletics team has been training in the IAAF Class 1 stadium and living in the Athletes' Village since August 31. The stadium equipped with a gym that boasts of Skill Line Technogym equipment designed for athletic training.
The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association also hosted the SEA Games athletics test event last October 26 to 28. David proposed plans for renting the stadium to local teams and even other countries for their Tokyo 2020 Olympics training and events purposes that will prevent the "white elephant" phase of facilities.
"We can invite [other countries and teams] joining the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, not only the winter countries, but also from Europe, Asia and America. They can train here before jumping to Tokyo. They can train here first because we have the summer weather like Tokyo," added David.
The warmup track in the stadium will feature SmarTracks, a tracking technology that documents the speed, stride length, jumps and agility of the athletes in real-time.
Magnetic nodes would be installed around the track that would respond to the SmarTracks belt worn by the athlete. The sensors would pick up the motion of the athlete and SmarTracks would gather and analyze the athletes' data.