Showcasing the best of Filipino athletes
INTROSPECTIVE - Tony F. Katigbak (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2019 - 12:00am

In just a few days, the SEA Games 2019 or more casually, Philippines 2019 will officially begin and the athletes from the competing countries will be doing their best to bring honor, glory, and medals to their respective countries. It’s an exciting time to be an athlete and an opportunity to shine before the world.

I believe that we have world-class athletes in the Philippines that are more than ready to take on the challenge. They have put in the work, they’ve trained hard, and they are hungry for a win. Not only are they being given the chance to show their skills against other athletes, but also hone their talents further and prepare for Tokyo 2020. I can’t wait to cheer on our athletes and teams once the games begin and I can’t wait to see how they will fare against our neighboring rivals.

Unfortunately as early as now, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), has been hampered by early logistics issues and problems. Teams from Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Cambodia, and yes even our Philippine team suffered from problems with accommodations, food, and transportation.

These were logistical concerns and can happen when planning an event of this magnitude, but hopefully, these issues are addressed quickly and serve as a wake up for organizers that there is no such thing as too prepared and to always have contingency plans in place. After all, waiting for hours on end or not having the proper food and water allotment is not a good thing for an athlete.

I’m hoping they can iron this out quickly because the games are approaching and we want to start on the right foot. I think that in so many other aspects we have done a good job preparing and arranging a world-class experience for the incoming athletes. As Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said last week in a press briefing in New Clark City, Tarlac – “the sports complex was a good investment by the government to create a world-class facility for our athletes and to help boost tourism in the future.”

I admit that investing to create better facilities is ideal for events like these and more international cooperation and competitions in the future. However, we need to couple these infrastructure investments with equal amounts of care in logistics and operations. What is the point of having great facilities if no one can get to them in time?

I choose to remain positive about the outcome of the SEA Games. No event of this massive a scale is without hiccups. Here’s hoping though that the worst is behind us and it’s smooth sailing from hereon. Our athletes and our people deserve no less.  Let’s focus on the upcoming games and on cheering for our competing countrymen.

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It looks like the National ID law/program will not be implemented this year despite being a priority project of President Duterte. The president has been prodding Congress to pass the law for quite some time now, but delays were inevitable as there was no budget provided for enacting the law.

This is according to Senate President ProTempore Ralph Recto who said the 17th Congress immediately complied with the wishes of Malacañang when it passed the National ID Bill, expecting that funds would be made available immediately for the implementation.

However, that was not the case and once again there will be delays because there is no money to make things happen. What happens now? We end up having to wait once again.

I am onboard with the integrated ID for the ease of being able to consolidate all government IDs into one. Not only will this lessen the number of IDs you have to apply for and carry around, but it should also lessen the time it takes to get government goods and services. Likewise, under a single national ID, terrorism and identity theft will be deterred as well.

There are definite pluses that the program will offer, but Filipinos will enjoy none of these until the National ID system is implemented. News stories from as early as April of this year claimed that the IDs would be ready for distribution by January 2020, but currently at just one month away from the mark, we know that is not going to happen.

I guess that this point we wait and see what happens. Without funding, the National ID plan is just a pipe dream.


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