The 3 primary sports entities tasked with putting together the Southeast Asian Games later this year have outlined each of their responsibilities, assuring that their duties will not overlap and will be carried out with transparency.
The heads of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) on Wednesday signed an agreement clarifying their roles with the hope of avoiding the kind of discord that in recent weeks disrupted the country's preparations for the Games.
"It (signing) came a little bit late, but still this is a historic day," said POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, referring to the deal among the primary stakeholders inked at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
"We are now ready not only for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, but it also signals our readiness for the challenges of the coming (2020 Tokyo) Olympics."
PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez and Phisgoc CEO Ramon Suzara joined Tolentino in the signing of the memorandum.
The agreement tasks the POC to form Team Philippines and makes it clear that the Phisgoc will report to the POC, a setup that the Phisgoc had rejected but has eventually agreed to.
The POC will also supervise the Phisgoc's preparation and management of the Games, and accounts pertaining to expenses incurred, sponsorship deals, donations, and the liquidation of financial support from the government.
"For us to be successful, it’s always a collaboration among the POC, PSC and Phisgoc," Suzara said.
"We should now move forward in the coming days since we have barely 4 months to go before the SEA Games."
The PSC will manage financial support, and provide manpower and whatever logistical needs the Phisgoc needs.
"Whatever transpired in the past are all part of the journey," Ramirez said.
Meanwhile, Ramirez said P1.2 billion has been set aside to fund the training of athletes, at least P400 million of which will go to their overseas training.
"I look at it that if we take good care of our athletes, the heart and soul of the Games, we might be able to deliver a miracle in the SEA Games," Ramirez said.
A budget of about P600 million has also been allocated for athletes' equipment.
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