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    Cayetano slams Senate over huge budget cut on SEA Games hosting

    Feb 13, 2019
    PHOTO: Gerry Ramos

    DESPITE recent budget cuts on the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) remained confident of a successful staging of the biennial meet here later in the year.

    The bright outlook was aired by PHISGOC chairman Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday after six companies entered into partnership agreements with the sports body to boost the preparation for the Nov. 30 to Dec.11 event.

    “I’m confident naman. Ang Flipino, the bigger the mountain, the higher the heights na we climb,” said Cayetano. “Ang nangyari lang, imbes na hill lang ang aakyatin natin, naging bundok na ngayon.”

    Cayetano spoke after the Senate reduced by 33 percent the P7.5 billion allotted to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the country’s SEA Games hosting.

    That left the sports body to work behind a P5 billion total budget.

    “It’s so hard to do the planning kung in the middle of the preparations ay tatanggalan ka ng 33 percent,” Cayetano, the former Department of Foreign Affairs head, said. “Tapos delayed pa, kasi dapat January nagagamit na natin yung budget.”

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    Cayetano also couldn’t help but chide his former colleagues in the Senate for slashing the SEA Games budget to P5 billion after initially approving the original P7.5 billion funds endorsed by the House of Representatives.

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    “Madalas tayong magsalita -sports, sports, sports. Kapag may hearing pinapapunta ang PSC, POC (Philippine Olympic Committee), NSAs (National Sports Associations). Tinatanong bakit di kayo nanalo ng medalya,” said the former senator. “But then when it comes to putting the money where your mouth is, eh baligtad, nada-divert ang pera.”

    The slashed 33 percent from the SEA Games budget, according to Cayetano, went instead to unspecified projects of the senators.

    “I’ll be very honest with you, kung napunta sana ang budget na yon sa free education or sa hospitals na dapat gawin, then its more than a privilege for us na suportahan yun kahit na mabigat sa organizers na biglang bawasan,” he said.

    Cayetano along with chairman Ramirez, and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas and secretary-general Patrick Gregorio went straight to Malacanang shortly after the press conference at the Kalayaan Hall in SM Aura to discuss the reduction of the SEA Games funds with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia.

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    “To have the level of hosting na gusto natin, international standards, security, broadcast, we need P6 billion,” disclosed Cayetano. “So part of our meeting today is paano pupunan yung P1 billion from the combination of private and public funds.”

    This is the reason why the former senator is grateful to the private companies which had extended their support for the country’s SEA Games hosting led by Philippine Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier and official airline carrier of the meet, which was represented by President and COO Jaime Bautista during the formal ceremony.

    Atos from Spain was designated as the official Games management system provider, France-based GL Events, a world class provider of integrated solutions and services for past international events, will lead in doing overlays of 39 sporting venues to be used during the SEA Games.

    Thailand-based sports apparel Grand Sport will be providing the uniforms for the workforce, volunteers, and technical officials, Asics of Japan will be donned by the national athletes in their official kits carrying the Philippine flag on their chests, official game ball and sporting equipment are provided by Mikasa, Marathon and Molten, all brought in by Sonar Corporation, and Spain-based MediaPro Asia will lead the efforts in international broadcast while also being the official media rights and sponsorship partner of PHISGOC.

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    “Ang ating platinum sa sponsorships na pinakamataas is $3million, going down to $2million, and $1 million, depende kung in kind or cash, depende sa pangangailangan natin,” said Cayetano.

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    PHOTO: Gerry Ramos
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