Problems still afoot ahead of SEA Games, admits PSC chief

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2019 03:29 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2019 09:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines— With 67 days left before the Southeast Asian Games, there are still problems hounding venues and equipment that will be used for the country's hosting.

This, according to Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair and SEA Games chef-de-mission William "Butch" Ramirez, who admitted as much to members of the House Committee on Youth and Sports.

Appearing before the committee on Monday, Ramirez told lawmakers that the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) claims the venues of the games are 85% to 90% ready but he believes the figure is not 90%.

He also admitted problems in the procurement of equipment. They are seeking exemptions from the Commission on Audit to expedite procurement.

Ramirez, however, said that while this may be viewed as a crisis in a private entity, in government they are already looking for solutions.

Ramirez said that more than half of the P6 billion allotted for the games, or around P4 billion, goes to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for procurement. The PHISGOC makes the requests for procurement, for evaluation, approval and endorsement to the DBM by the PSC.

About P1 billion of the remainder goes to the PSC for direct funding on activities, while the rest goes to the Philippine Olympic Committee. 

Ramirez said the POC is running the hosting of the games, while the PSC head is also head of Team Philippines.

Despite some problems, the Philippine delegation is ready for the opening, which will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. 

The closing ceremony is set for the New Clark City in Tapas, Tarlac.

Twenty-two events will be held in Manila, while 16 will be in Clark, 12 in Subic, one in La Union, two in Tagaytay, and one in Batangas.

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