Phisgoc chair Cayetano shuts down talk of PH hosting in peril, says preparations in full swing
Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chair Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday promised a successful staging of the biennial meet, which the country will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
The assurance came after news reports spread that the Philippine hosting is in peril due to lack of funds, something Cayetano vehemently denied.
“We assure the athletes, sports community and President Duterte that the preparations for the 30th SEA Games is now in full swing,” he said in a statement.
Despite huge budget cuts—reportedly from an initial P7.5 billion to P5 billion—the former senator and Foreign Affairs secretary said: “We are unfazed and determined to make this successful. We are determined to pursue our task and responsibility which was given to us by President Rodrigo Duterte last year.”
He added that the Philippines will “mount the best SEA games in history for the sake of our athletes and the Filipino people is bigger than any other problem confronting us today.”
By September, Cayetano said the sports facilities inside the New Clark City Sports Complex would be ready for use. The complex is intended to be used not only for this SEA Games but for future international meets.
There are 523 events in 56 sports to be played in the Games, including eSports, which will debut in the meet.
“Phisgoc has been successful in tapping private companies to sponsor the Games and augment its budget. The overwhelming support of the private partners boosts our efforts to facilitate event preparations,” Cayetano added.
He also exhorted the national athletes to give it their all and not be affected by “unseen forces trying to break up this unity.”
“To our athletes, pray for us and train well. Through your support, we will make it happen,” he said.