PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez assured the P7.5 billion budget for the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games is in good hands.
Ramirez said the PSC will be taking a more active role in the country’s hosting of the SEA Games now that it has been tasked as the agency that will be releasing the government funds for the undertaking.
“I am compelled to actively participate in the Southeast Asian Games,” said Ramirez in a press conference on Friday. “Makikialam ako from the executive director down the line because after all, kami ang magre-release ng pera.
"We will assure you that the government procurement law, government accounting rules [will be followed], and we plan to seek advices from our COA (Commission on Audit).”
The P7.5 billion budget for the SEA Games hosting was previously allocated to the Department of Foreign Affairs since former DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is chairman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc).
The Senate questioned the arrangement and approved that the SEA Games budget be allocated to the PSC.
Cayetano, who resigned as DFA secretary to run in the May elections, is still the chairman of Phisgoc . Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas are co-chairmen.
“I made the commitment to the Senate that we will take good care of the money,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez also expressed concern as speculations mount about the slow pace of the preparations with only months before the 2019 SEA Games unfolds in Clark, Subic, Manila, and nearby provinces starting November 30.
“Marami akong nababasa at naririnig. When I come across other people, it’s difficult na dapat nako-communicate ng organizing committee what is going on. People begin to distrust. As part of Phisgoc and [being its] second highest officer, I’m concerned being the most veteran among the triumvirate,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez also urged members of the Phisgoc as well as all national sports associations (NSAs) to work double time in the buildup for the Games, especially in the acquisition of equipment since the election ban on procurement is set to be enforced in March.
“Dapat ma-deliver na ang equipment, maayos ang venues, ang mga tao nagtatrabaho na, ‘yung pagbabago sa structure (of Phisgoc) walang problema ‘yan. There are things that I will actively participate [in],” said Ramirez.