PSC still waiting for SEA Games fund; Polo gets green light
The Philippine Sports Commission’s full focus is on the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games late this year.
The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) has 10 months to complete the hosting puzzle, which is expected to speed up once the P7.5-billion budget begins flowing from the national government.
“The preparations are very critical from now until September,” said PSC Chair Butch Ramirez.
On the receiving end of the SEA Games allocation, which is still waiting approval from Congress, is the PSC, the government arm for sports.
“When the money goes to the PSC, it becomes our responsibility,” said Ramirez. “Every financial request should be detailed and will be subject to the evaluation of the PSC.”
Ramirez knows what he’s talking about, having been the Philippine delegation’s chef de mission in the 2005 edition of the 11-nation meet during his first term as PSC Chair.
As talks swirl that alterations in the organizing committee can transpire anytime, Ramirez said the changes, once they happen, would benefit the country.
“At the moment, there are no changes yet,” said Ramirez. “The President has maintained the same setup, but changes can happen along the way.”
Ramirez co-chairs the Phisgoc with Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas and former Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Meanwhile, the United Polo Players Association (UPPA) can finally heave a sigh of relief after the Phisgoc approved the inclusion of the sport in the biennial Games slated to open Nov. 30.
Polo, which offers three gold medals, was included as the 56th event.
“Our efforts did not go down the drain,” said UPPA chair Emeritus and Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero (1-Pacman).
Federation International Polo Zone D president Peter Predevilla was also delighted with the development.
“I look forward to working with you and make the outcome a success. FIP places a high priority on the SEA Games and for all the countries that participate and especially in ensuring the reputation of the host country,” Predevilla was quoted by UPPA officials.