By Nick Giongco
All is not lost on the 33 percent the Senate deducted on the R7.5-billion that was proposed by the Phisgoc to stage the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Sen. Richard Gordon said.
“We can do a supplemental budget,” said Gordon after attending President Rodrigo Duterte’s formal approval of RA 11214 (Philippine Sports Training Center) at Malacañang.
Gordon said the R2.5-billion can be reinstated provided that the Phisgoc defends the massive spending.
Phisgoc officials are aiming for the stars when the Philippines host the SEAG from Nov. 30-Dec. 11 at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, Metro Manila, and key provincial cities in Central and Southern Luzon.
“That’s why we have to explain to the senators what’s happening,” said Gordon, admitting that he is at a loss as to the intent of the hefty budget that was proposed.
“I am a supporter of the SEAG but if you cannot tell us what’s happening, how can we fight for you? We have to know where it is going to be brought.”
Gordon advises Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez not to give up on the bid to recoup the R2.5-billion.
“Fight for it, Butch,” said Gordon, stressing that the Senate can expedite it in time for the hosting.
“If it will not be enough, why not?”
But, then again, the Phisgoc has to come up with an explanation that will make heads turn.
The Phisgoc’s target is not only to win the overall crown but to leave a lasting impression in terms of hosting, something that will not only match but surpass what SEAG heavyweights Malaysia and Singapore has done.