By Jelly Musico
MANILA — The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine SEA Games Organizational Committee Foundation, Inc. (Phisgoc) on Wednesday signed a tripartite agreement to assure hassle-free and successful hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.
The formal signing of the tripartite deal at the PSC conference room was set after the POC executive council granted newly-elected POC president Abraham Tolentino go-signal to agree.
Abraham and chairman Steve Hontiveros signed the tripartite agreement in behalf of the POC while chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez for the PSC and chief executive officer Ramon Suzara for Phisgoc.
“This is a historic day for us and we should move forward in the coming days since we barely have four months to go before the first day of the SEA Games,” Suzara said.
Ramirez, also chef de mission (CDM) of the Team Philippines, commended the POC for settling their differences and set their focus on preparations for the country’s fourth hosting of the biennial meeting.
“I’m confident, although it’s a bit little late, it is still beautiful to see we are working together,” Ramirez said.
He said the PSC has done its part in secluding the athletes as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte from the recent POC leadership crisis and reports of alleged corruption.
“Whatever that has transpired in the past, it was part of the journey. Despite the very tight condition and many things are tight, we took good care of the athletes. They are heart and souls of the SEA,” Ramirez said.
“I think those things taught lessons that we have to work together,” he added.
Under the tripartite agreement, the PSC has to make sure that the disbursement of the PHP6 billion funds through Department of Budget and Management will be done according to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive “that there should be no corruption”.
“I would like everybody in the PSC, POC, and Phisgoc to feel the spirit of what the President has said that he means business,” Ramirez said.
The agreement, on the other hand, mandates Phisgoc to ensure that any financial support granted by the PSC will not be used for any purpose not related to the hosting of 30th SEA Games.
“Submit to PSC and POC the required financial reports and make available all records and documents, including disbursement vouchers, relative to the utilization of the funds,” the agreement read.
After the SEA Games, the Phisgoc has to refund to PSC “any unutilized” amount it received from the government sports body.
The 30th SEA Games will be held in different venues in Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, Tagaytay, Subic and New Clark City sports complex in Capas, Tarlac.
At least 10,000 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore, and Vietnam will participate in 543 sports events. (PNA)