MANILA - An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the public to unite and show Filipino hospitality as the country hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
In an interview with the Church-run Radio Veritas on Tuesday, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, who leads the CBCP's Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, said Filipinos should show a united front in welcoming foreign athletes.
"Let us all together, one and united, to show our true face, that is our caring and compassionate hospitality. We are all welcoming and endearing Filipinos, and so let them experience from us warm, concern and friendship," Santos said.
This as logistical problems mount days before the official start of the tournament, with both local and foreign delegates complaining of inconvenience on food, accommodation, and transportation.
But the prelate said the public should set aside "bitter criticisms" because it's not helping in solving problems.
"Let us set aside bitter criticism, unsavory comments which will not inspire nor encourage our athletes and guests," Santos added.
House Speaker and PHISGOC Chairman Alan Peter Cayetano has apologized to foreign teams for their "inconveniences".
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the chief executive is "not pleased" to hear about numerous complaints linked to the Philippines' hosting of the SEA Games.
He said Duterte wants an investigation into allegations of incompetence and corruption in relation to the handling of the tournament.
The 2019 SEA Games will run from November 30 to December 11.
The last time the Philippines hosted the regional games was in 2005.