By Nick Giongco
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) leadership expressed its readiness to take charge in the disbursement of the R7.5-billion the government has earmarked for the hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The money is actually with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) since Alan Peter Cayetano was the DFA secretary and chairman of the Philippine Southeast Games Organizing Committee (PhisGOC) when it was approved.
But with Teodoro Locsin now running the affairs at the DFA, the former Makati lawmaker asked that it be transferred to the appropriate agency since it is not under the DFA’s mandate to get engaged in sports.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said a decision on when the funds will be channeled to the agency has not yet been reached but made the assurance that the PSC will properly handle the spending.
“This is government funds and the Commission on Audit will guide us in disbursing it,” said Ramirez.
The SEAG is scheduled Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 with the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac as main hub. But competitions in Metro Manila, Subic, Tagaytay and Laguna are already on tap since 56 sports will be played.
Right now, Cayetano remains chairman of the PhisGOC but there are reports that the position will be transferred to a key Malacanang official who will be asked to closely coordinate with the PSC.