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Dark clouds over 2019 SEA Games

/ 05:05 AM February 06, 2019

Call it a baby storm, impending disturbance, anything, there clearly is trouble brewing over the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games later this year.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas has declared that the lack of time to train and prepare the national athletes tops the list of problems.

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There’s also the absence of funds and the disruption that could be caused by the mid-term polls in May.

The training facilities for national athletes are still being built.

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“Nakakatakot, it’s scary,” Vargas cried.

Vargas said it’s too late already and they need to rush, move very fast.

Contrary to glowing reports, construction of game venues has reportedly fallen behind schedule. Preparations, if they have ever been properly started, are anything but trouble-free.

Vargas said there are the other elements of hosting, like bringing in sponsors.

“Who are the major sponsors; time and expertise are also necessary to bring in sponsors,” he added.

With no visible immediate solution, Vargas has pointed to the signing by Malacañang of Memorandum Order No. 56, as a possible relief.

The memo calls on all government agencies, government-controlled corporations, local government units (LGUs) to extend full support.

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Oddly, the LGUs will always be there, but there’s no one to at least guide them on what to do.

Truth is that the SEA Games hosting, initially turned down by President Duterte, happened in a snap through the machinations of non-performing and overstaying POC officials who have since been voted out of office.

Alan Peter Cayetano, the former secretary of foreign affairs, was surprisingly announced to head the powerful Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Philsogoc), obviously with no exact idea of his function and responsibilities.

As president of the host national Olympic committee, Vargas heads the 11-nation Southeast Asian Games Federation.

Cayetano has, however, assumed the role of Executive Officer (EO), with power to assign people of his choice to vital positions.

Shouldn’t Cayetano stand up and give the honest score on the troubled hosting of the biennial regional Games?

He could still be of help, no matter how late.

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TAGS: 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Ricky Vargas, Sports
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