Crucial POC-PSC meeting for SEAG funding set
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has declared as urgent a meeting with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as the country tries to piece together an efficient medal-winning machinery with less than four months left before the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia.
“Hopefully, we’ll be officially meeting with the PSC no later than Wednesday this week to get the task rolling,” said Team Philippines chef de mission Chito Loyzaga as the delegation asks for funding for preparation of a contingent expected to number 800-strong.
The Phnom Penh edition of the 11-nation sportsfest is scheduled May 5 to 17.
The national budget appropriations this year have set aside P250 million for the preparation and participation of Filipino athletes in the SEA Games.
“That’s one of our main concerns with the PSC. After we have finalized the entry by numbers, we’ll be ready for some pencil-pushing and calculation and come up with an actual cost,” said Loyzaga, the ex-pro basketball star who is now the country’s baseball federation head.
Loyzaga is confident that discussions on the Cambodia preparations could be done swiftly since the PSC board already constituted a quorum with Bachmann and commissioners Olivia “Bong” Coo, Edward Hayco and Walter Torres on board.
The Cambodia program has reserved 608 events in 49 sports, far larger than the 2019 Philippine hosting of 530 events in 56 sports and Vietnam’s 526 events in 40 sports last year.
“With that goal, we’re looking at more than an 800-athlete delegation and a total delegation of 1,200, counting the coaches, medical and administrative staff,” said Loyzaga.
Projections on the performance of Team Philippines remains dreary, but Loyzaga emphasized that the fourth-place overall output in Vietnam will be the benchmark.
“As a former athlete, I aim to win, always go for the win. But you can’t win all the time. It will be a tough challenge in Cambodia,” said Loyzaga. “The POC objective is to participate in all events possible, there’s no issue there.” INQ