PSC, POC seek LGU support for SEAG prep

PSC, POC seek LGU support for SEAG prep

MANILA – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have agreed to seek the help of local government units (LGUs) on the preparation of Team Philippines for the 31st Southeast Asian Games to be held in Vietnam this year.

Intending to defend or land a top-three finish in this time of a global health crisis, the national team faces a big challenge ahead.

In a meeting on Thursday, POC president, Rep. Abraham Tolentino asked fellow sports officials if the allotted PHP200 million would be enough for the country’s preparation and participation in the biennial meet.

“What if the 200 million allocated budget falls short?” Tolentino asked.

Based on the projected expenses, half of the budget will be allocated for the actual participation of the nearly 700-man Philippine delegation.

After discussion, the group agreed to formally seek the help of LGUs willing to “adopt” teams and sponsor some aspects of their training, like venue, meals, and billeting.

“Baka may gusto magninong muna sa ating mga atleta (There might be some who are willing to sponsor our athletes), we are very open to this,” said PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who is also the Philippine team’s Chef de Mission to the SEAG.

Tolentino, digging from his extensive experience as an LGU chief, reminded the group that it is key to get the Department of the Interior and Local Government to issue a directive on the “godfather-LGU program.”

He has also committed to adopt the sports of cycling and skateboarding in his district.

“The joint secretariat for the SEAG is carefully working on the SEAG plan,” Fernandez said, stressing the impact of the present crisis to conducting the usual full training of the nationals.

Targeting July 1 as the start of training, Fernandez said “we still have time to talk to the LGUs”.

He said he is banking on the sense of nationalism “among our people to receive this program positively since this is for national pride.

“Ito ay para sa inang bayan at para sa atletang Pilipino (This is for our motherland and four Filipino athletes),” he added.

Joining Tolentino and Fernandez in the meeting were POC Secretary-General Edwin Gastanes, POC Deputy Secretary-General Karen Caballero, PSC Executive Director Guillermo Iroy Jr., PSC Deputy Executive Directors Queenie Evangelista and Merlita Ibay and PSC National Training Director Marc Velasco. (PR)