MANILA, April 17, 2005 
(STAR) By Abac Cordero -  The Lucio Tan Group of Companies has joined the SEA Games bandwagon.

As one of the biggest sponsors of the biennial event scheduled Nov. 27 to Dec. 5, the Lucio Tan Group of Companies will provide some of the basic needs that would help ensure the country’s successful hosting of the SEA Games.

The LTGC, which joined Globe Telecoms and PLDT as the major sponsors of the SEA Games, will take care of the huge requirement for drinking water for the close to 10,000 athletes, officials and volunteers through its bottled water product Absolute.

Most, if not all, of the airlines tickets for both international and local travel requirements before, during and after the Games will also be handled by the LTGC through Philippine Airlines.

Aside from Metro Manila and neighboring provinces like Cavite, Tagaytay, Subic and Pampanga, events will also be held in Bacolod and Cebu, raising the need for an official carrier of the traveling athletes and officials and equipment as well.

Hotel accommodations for those staying in Manila will be provided by Century Park Hotel which is also owned by Lucio Tan, the business tycoon.

Although the total amount of the sponsorship was not divulged, it is estimated to cost close to a hundred million pesos. The deal was made after a series of meetings between Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco and top LTGC officials.

Cojuangco, also the vice chairman of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee or Philsoc, has appealed to the private sector to set aside their business interests for the sake of the country which is hosting the SEA Games only for the third time since 1981 and 1991.

The LTGC sponsorship "lessens the financial burden" of staging the Games, according to the POC president.

The sponsorship packages will allow the sponsors to make use of the Games venues for merchandising activities and the use of the SEA Games logo for their own promotions.

The sponsors are allowed to promote and market their respective products or services not only through the period of the Games but starting in May or seven months leading to it.

With the entry of Globe, PLDT and the Lucio Tan group, more private firms and corporations are expected to throw in their full support to the Games which needs close to a billion pesos to stage.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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