No stopping PH in hosting 30th SEA Games – Ramirez

Date: June 16, 2019

Written By: Eddie G. Alinea

The Philippines is pushing through with the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games this coming November 30 to December 11 in separate venues in Central and Southern Metro Manila.

Thus declared Philippine Sports Commission chair and national delegation Chief of Mission Butch Ramirez as he allayed fears that the Games are in danger of not pushing due to political wrangling among the country’s sports leaders.

“The budget has been approved, the President (Rodrigo Duterte) has instructed me to fix whatever problems that exist among our leaders and I believe I have succeeded in addressing those,” Ramirez told The Manila Times in an interview on Friday.

“I have have already met and talked to all national sports association presidents, Philippine Olympic Committee officials, headed by President Ricky Vargas, PHISGOC, headed by Taguig Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano and even coaches and athletes and we all agreed that hosting the Games is a national undertaking that needs the concern, not only of all of us, but our people as well,” Ramirez said.

“Why, we all even agreed that our ultimate purpose, outside of showcasing anew our world-renowned hospitality, that we are still No. 1 in the region in sports,” Ramirez, who is in his second stint as PSC chair, stressed.

“Yes, alam din namin na mahirap gawin, but we all believe that’s our athletes are capable of winning the overall championship again if given the right training and we agreed, too, to make that our goal for this Games,” he said.

“I reminded everybody of the universal experience of mankind when the first Olympic Games were played in Athens in ancient Greece, sports have evolved an amazing way of bringing the nations of the world closer together, so why can’t we do it here now,” he said.

With this in mind, Ramirez disclosed that he assigned all of the PSC commissioners – Ramon Fernandez, Charles Maxey, Arnold Agustin and Celia Kiram — to monitor the athletes’ preparations in clusters and make sure that they’re battle-ready when the Games come.

A total P1.2 million budget has been appropriated, half of which for preparations and the other half for actual competitions.

“As we have been saying, we are leaving no stone unturned in making our hosting a resounding success,” Ramirez assured. “Everything has been set in place and some are being implemented.

Ramirez assured, too, that all athletes recommended for inclusion in the national contingent are and will be given the needed international exposures.

“We have hosted three SEA Games before and despite monetary constraints, all turned out a success,” Ramirez recalled in reference to the 1981, 1991 and 2005 Philippines played as host to the 11-nation SEA Games. “

And I’m sure that with the cooperation of everybody, the public and private sectors, this Games will also be something the country and all Filipinos will be proud of,” the PSC chair said.

This article first appeared in:   The Manila Times

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