MANILA - Senator Sonny Angara on Friday urged politicians to temporarily halt debates about expenses related to the Philippines' hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games to ensure that Filipino athletes could focus on the competition.
Earlier this week, game organizers and opposition members argued over the propriety of spending some P50 million for the construction of the 2019 SEA Games cauldron.
"Hosting ng Games 'yan. Dapat naka-concentrate tayo dito. Kasi yung mga atleta natin, kapag maraming issue, baka ma-distract e. Dapat naka-focus lang sa mga competition nila," Angara said in a statement.
(Our athletes must concentrate on the games. Issues could distract them.)
The expenses will undergo auditing after the event, said the lawmaker who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.
"Lahat ng gastusin ng gobyerno ay dadaan talaga sa cost audit," he said, noting that this was the mandate of the Commission on Audit.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier said he would seek a Senate inquiry on how taxpayers' money was spent for the 11-day Games.
The mounting of the 30th SEA Games was spearheaded by the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, chaired by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano earlier said he would welcome the audit after the games.
The SEA Games in the Philippines will run from November 30 to December 11.