Singapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics
MANILA, Philippines — Trouble continues to pile up for the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) less than a week before the formal opening of the 30th SEA Games.
Singapore emerged as the latest country to voice out its concerns over the Philippines’ shortcomings as host of the regional multi-sport event.
In a letter dated Nov. 24 and addressed to Ramon Suzara, Chief Operating Officer of Phisgoc, Singapore Chef De Mission Juliana Seow said Singapore’s delegation at the SEA Games has been dealing with numerous issues ranging from accreditation to insufficient halal food for its athletes and transportation.
“We urgently seek your urgent and immediate attention to address the situations we are facing. We had tried our best to be patient and understanding. As much as we had tried to resolve the situations ourselves as well as with our sports and you, these situations cannot continue any further as our athletes are badly affected and are not able to prepare for the games effectively,” Seow wrote.
According to the letter, a story of which was published by The Straits Times, Singapore’s football team staying at Century Park Hotel was not given “sufficient halal food and had very limited food options” while some of its officials “had to starve.”
Singapore’s netball team at Somerset Alabang, which competes on Monday, and its floorball team at Luxent Hotel, had to order food outside the hotel just to have a full meal.
“They had to order outside food to complete their meal and as you may already know, nutrition is a very important part of the preparation and our athletes are starving.”
Food is just part of the list of problems the Singaporean contingent is facing, according to the letter.
Also adding to the team’s woes are accreditation and transportation issues.
“The Accreditation Centre at the airports were also not ready. We had to send our staff in our own vehicles to Football, Floorball and Netball hotels and bring their accreditation to World Trade Centre to validate and bring them back to the teams yesterday,” Seow said.
“Netball competition starts today. We cannot accept this level of service and we have not gotten our vehicles in Manila. We had really tried to do this by ourselves and as more teams come, we really cannot be doing everything by ourselves.”
Seow also urged a swift call to action by Phisgoc as Singapore gears up for its campaign.
“We request for your urgent and immediate attention to these matters. While we try our best to be patient and understanding, we cannot make any compromise when our athletes are affected directly. We implore you to address these situations now and we look forward to seeing positive action from your side.”
In a message to INQUIRER.net on Monday, Suzara said Phisgoc will tackle the matter during a Chef de Mission meeting at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, national football teams of Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Timor Leste also encountered mishaps upon their arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.