The proposed budget of P7.5 billion for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games should be enough to get things running smoothly.
Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee executive director Ramon “Tats” Suzara said this as organizers await the release of the Games’ funds into the hands of the Philippine Sports Commission.
“If you ask me, it should not be lessened. We are trying to raise the standards of the Games, through the venue and the sports (that will be played). There are 56 sports,” said Suzara.
Current Department of Foreign Affairs secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. recently informed the PSC that they will seek the transfer of the funds to the government sports agency after the Senate questioned the DFA’s 27.4-billion proposed budget for 2019.
The PHISGOC budget was included in the DFA’s budget when oganizing committee chairman Allan Peter Cayetano was still the secretary.
The Philippines will host the Games from November 29 to December 10 next year, and most of the events will be held at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, Subic, Bulacan and in Metro Manila.
The funding for the SEA Games has gone under intense scrutiny following a plenary deliberation of the Senate, which is still deliberating on this.
Preparations for the Games is expected to pick up in the coming days.
Meanwhile, PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said the Games budget should be handled properly by the PSC, and not the Phisgoc, since the agency will be able to account for the funds, and with Chairman William Ramirez on top of this as Phisgoc vice chairman.
“The Phisgoc can’t handle the funds. For them to do so, they will have to have a memorandum of agreement with the PSC, and they’ll be the one to answer to the COA,” said Fernandez.
The opening ceremony goes out of tradition by holding a glitzy opening ceremony on November 30 at the 60,000-seat Philippine Arena in Bulacan.