THE Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee has agreed to seek the help of local government units on the preparation of Team Philippines for the 31st Southeast Asian Games to be held in Vietnam.
With the aim of defending its crown or landing a top-three finish in this time of a global health crisis, the national team faces a big challenge ahead.
POC President Congressman Abraham Tolentino opened the meeting with questions on the budget, “What if the 200 million allocated budget fall short?” Following the projected expenses, half of this is already going towards the actual participation of the nearly 700-man delegation.
After discussion, the group arrived to an agreement 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 mag-ninong muna sa ating mga atleta, we are very open to this,” said PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez who also stands as the 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 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 are carefully working on the SEAG plan,” explained Fernandez stressing the impact of the present crisis to conducting the usual full trainings of the nationals.
Targeting July 1 as the start of training, Fernandez said “we still have time to talk to the LGUs” adding that he is trusting 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.”
Joining Tolentino and Fernandez in the meeting were POC Secretary General Atty. Edwin Gastanes, POC Deputy Secretary General Karen Caballero, PSC Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr., PSC Deputy Executive Directors Queenie Evangelista and Merlita Ibay and PSC National Training Director Marc Velasco.