MANILA - At least 2 main venues for the 30th Southeast Asian Games have yet to be completed, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Thursday, less than 10 days before the international sports competition begins.
Preparations in Tagaytay and in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex remain incomplete, said Cayetano, who also chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC).
"Usually countries have 4 years [to prepare]. We had a little bit below 2 years so Subic and then Tagaytay and then Rizal may hinahabol pa talaga," he told reporters in Tarlac.
The Tagaytay venue will be completed this week, while officials have prepared contingency plans in case the Rizal Stadium cannot be completed in time for the November 30 opening.
"I can tell you, handang-handa na tayo," Cayetano said.
"The reality of hosting games like this where you have a thousand foreign journalists here, 11,000 athletes and coaches, and 9,000 volunteers... may day-to-day crisis management yan and day-to-day problems, including traffic. Doon ang sinasabi kong handa, prepared," he said.
Most of the delays were caused by the late passage of the 2019 budget, which contained funds for SEA Games.
The budget was signed into law 4 months after its usual December deadline after senators and House members bickered over alleged insertions that favored allies of then House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The late passage of the spending bill resulted in delays in the government's procurement process.
The budget for the SEA Games was also slashed by P2.5 billion, Cayetano said.
"We would have preferred its like Clark na natapos na ng September para yung mga athletes nakaka-practice na doon," he said.
"[But] Everyone did the best that they can do," he said.
- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News