P500-M war chest for SEA Games

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The Philippine Sports Commission will build a war chest of P500 million for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games.

PSC chair Richie Garcia yesterday said the bulk of the amount would be spent for the athletes’ buildup for the Myanmar Games as training goes full blast in the second week of January.

According to Garcia, the government sports agency would set aside P400 million from the National Sports Development Fund for the 11-nation meet in November next year and raise P100 million more through private-sector sponsorships.

Included in the budget is the P30 million for the country’s actual participation in the Games. The bulk of the NSDF comes from the PSC’s monthly share from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

“Since it’s going to be a SEA Games year, we’re going all out to win more medals for the country,” said Garcia.

“We’re looking to start in January through the formation of the SEA Games task force.”

Garcia said the 150 priority athletes selected by the PSC from different sports would be sent to train overseas.

The Philippines won 36 gold, 56 silver and 77 bronze medals and placed a paltry sixth overall among 11 countries in the 2011 Indonesia SEA Games.

The country is aiming for at least a fourth-place finish this time with Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and Garcia expecting to double the golden output in Myanmar.

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