MANILA – The privately formed Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Foundation Inc. will remain hands-on for the country’s hosting of the 2019 biennial multi-sport event.
This is despite a report that President Rodrigo Duterte no longer wants the body to handle the Games over alleged questionable deals, instead preferring the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to do so.
Speaking with reporters during the 30th SEA Games broadcast and media conference in Pasay City, PHISGOC chief executive officer Ramon Suzara said the allegations are “not true” and are only based on “negative publicity.”
“I think the negative publicity doesn’t help organizing the Games. I appeal to all the media practitioners to support,” he said.
Suzara denied corruption allegations in PHISGOC, noting that the P5-billion budget approved by the Congress for the SEA Games this year, as well as the P1-billion augmentation fund approved by the President, are all lodged with the PSC.
He said the PHISGOC will have a “unity meeting” with POC and PSC at Malacanang on Wednesday to settle issues.
Suzara earlier claimed that from the start, the President did not want either the POC or PSC alone to organize the Games, because he wanted the athletes, national sports associations and the government properly represented.
PHISGOC, led by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, was formally recognized by the President on January 25 by issuing Memorandum Circular 56, which directs all government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations to extend their full support to the body.
The official said PHISGOC is ready to be probed to put an end to accusations of irregularities.
“How can we be transparent when the budget is with PSC and the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) is the one processing the bidding? All is with them, it’s not with us. We are just giving the requirements,” Suzara stressed.
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