Alan Peter Cayetano: We’ll host biggest, best SEA Games
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chairman Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday gave the strong assurance that despite the smaller budget, the country will stage the best and biggest Southeast Asian Games ever.

“We are unfazed and determined to make this successful,” said Cayetano, brushing off claims by certain sectors that the hosting of the SEA Games in November is in jeopardy because of budget woes.

From their projected budget of P7.5 billion, PHISGOC now has to work with the Senate-approved P5 billion, with big help coming from the private sector.

“We know that the budget limitation is a major factor.  But our strong will to mount the best SEA Games in history for the sake of our athletes and the Filipino people is bigger than any other problem confronting us today,” said Cayetano.

The former senator and former Foreign Affairs secretary said PHISGOC is not resting on its laurels. He said work on the main venues in Capas, Tarlac is in full swing, and nothing can prevent the builders of the venues to meet the task.

 “We are determined to pursue our task and responsibility which was given to us by President Duterte last year,” he said.

Cayetano said construction of the main athletics stadium and aquatics center at the sprawling New Clark City Sports Complex is up for completion by September or two months before the Games set Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. 

“The fast construction of these facilities proves the Duterte administration’s commitment to enhance Philippine sports development to produce more world-class athletes and to host international sporting events in the future,” he said.

Cayetano also assured the President, the Filipino athletes, the sports community, including the members off the SEA Games Federation, and the rest of the Filipino people “that all preparations are in full swing.”

Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas gave his own assurance the other day that the country’s hosting of the SEA Games for only the fourth time in history (after 1981, 1991 and 2005) will push through.

“First of all, our SEA Games will push through. I don’t know why people are saying that it won’t,” Vargas said.

The POC chief also branded as “fake news” that Indonesia is stepping as an alternate host in case the Philippines fails to get it done.

“These are all fake news – whoever is spreading the news,” said Vargas.

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