MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Sports Commission is urging all athletes in the national pool to push themselves hard in training despite the possibility that the country will only send a token delegation to the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
Chairman Richie Garcia of the PSC said the Filipino athletes have other bigger tournaments to prepare for this year, including the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Incheon in June and the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing in August.
There are also international tournaments that some national sports associations (NSAs) will host in the country, which is also preparing for the staging of the Asian Games Centennial celebration in Boracay in November.
“They should not worry and they should not slow down in training. Their training program will not be stopped,” said Garcia amid plans that the country may only send around 50 athletes to Myanmar.
“We guarantee our athletes that our plans for the SEA Games have nothing to do with their overall program for 2013. Their training program has to continue. We have allotted P400 million for that,” said Garcia.
The PSC chief assured the athletes that their foreign exposures will continue as long as it falls within the plans and programs, and the budget of their respective NSAs, which have been pre-approved by the government sports agency.
“Huwag sila matakot,” said Garcia.
In fact, the PSC may end up with more money in its pocket if the Philippine Olympic Committee pushes through with its plan to send only a token delegation to the SEA Games, and not as many as the 512 athletes that went to the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.
Garcia said the PSC has earmarked P30 million for the SEA Games but based on experience it’s always not enough for a full delegation. He said for a full delegation the expenses normally reach as high P80 million to P100 million.