Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez yesterday hailed the recent tripartite agreement that involved the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) as the step that put forward the country’s preparations for the hosting of the Games.
“Now we can move on,” said Ramirez, also the Chief of Mission of Team Philippines.
Ramirez said President Duterte has placed a special concern on the country’s preparations on the Philippine hosting of the SEA Games after special elections were once again called by the POC following the resignation of its former president Ricky Vargas.
“Now that the internal issues of the POC have been settled and will all of its officials now moving in the same page, government— through the PSC, and all the other agencies with stakes in the Games, can now also move forward with the preparations,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said newly-elected POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who is also the Cavite 7th District Representative in the House of Representative, is ably steering the national sports associations (NSA) in their roles for the hosting.
“The success of the SEA Games will rest on the now very pronounced cooperation among our sports leaders. Rep. Tolentino is able to galvanize the once contenting sports leaders into a cohesive group that yes, we can now say the SEA Games is definitely a go,” Ramirez said.
For its part, Ramirez said the PSC will support the technical needs of the NSAs aside from its continuing program to boost their athletes’ chances by funding their training both home and overseas.
“Time, however, is of the essence. We’re no longer counting the days towards the SEA Games but the hours and minutes leading to them,” Ramirez said.
The SEA Games will be held Nov.30 to Dec.11 in different venues in Luzon. Main venues for the Games are being built at the Clark and Subic.
Ramirez and Tolentino met with the POC Board and several other NSA officials on Thursday and defined their respective roles in the Games.
“I saw their cooperation as a very positive sign that points to the success of the Games’ hosting. Rep. Tolentino and the POC Board are also upbeat on the SEA Games, especially now that we have a little than four months before the first matches are played,” Ramirez said.
“The SEA Games are a go, that is for sure,” he added.