PHI gets thumbs up from SEAG chefs de mission
Mark Escarlote on Jul 12, 2019 06:27 AM
Chefs de mission of the participating countries in the 30th Southeast Asian Games gave their full confidence on host Philippines.
Chefs de mission from the countries participating in the 30th Southeast Asian Games gave their vote of confidence regarding the Philippines’ preparation for the biennial meet in November.
Although the 10 delegation heads have heard of the issues within the Philippine Olympic Committee, they had nothing but praises for the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) pace in ensuring that the Games will live up to its billing as the best staging of the SEA Games.
“I know we are in good hands and I feel quite comfortable going home after tomorrow’s trip to see the venues,” said Singapore’s Chris Chan during the press conference of the 2nd SEA Games chefs de mission meeting Thursday at the Hilton Hotel in Pasay City. “I feel assured that I can go home and present to my national federation that things are on track and the games will go on.”
Chan, who was joined by 10 other CDMs with chief operating officer Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara of PHISGOC, admitted that they know about the situation within the POC but they’re confident that the SEA Games with its record of 56 sports with 530 events will run smoothly.
“Yes, we were a little disturbed when we heard about the stories of infighting going on in the NOC but today I rest assured that everything is going on fine,” he added. “At the end of it all it’s about preparing the games for the athletes.”
Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin of Malaysia, which hosted the Games in 2017, expressed his trust with the organizers.
“I, personally, is (sic) quite happy to see what’s happening now,” he said. “Definitely, the first thing that I would do back home is gonna call for a meeting that is scheduled Tuesday to all the team managers to tell them that the Philippines is ready and we have nothing to worry back home.”
Harry Warganegara of Indonesia, which played host to the Asian Games last year, gave his full trust on Suzara and that he’s convinced that everything’s on track.
“Regarding the question whether the Philippines is ready to host the Southeast Asian Games, I think, we should not ask that questions,” said the Indonesian CDM. “I think under the COO Ramon, I believe everything is on track.”
Meanwhile, Cambodia, which will make their SEA Games hosting debut four years from now, is looking at the PHI’s as its benchmark.
“For us we are not only participating and campaigning in this event but we come here to learn how to organize the SEA Games,” said Cambodian CDM Sokvisal Nhan. “We are going to host for the first time ever the SEA Games in 2023. Seeing the Games in the Philippines will be a very good experience for us to learn.”
Suzara, for his part, said that the PHISGOC presented to the CDMs the updates on the progress of the game venues and other function areas.
“We gave information on the completion of the different competition venues, the accommodation and hotels and the athletes’ village,” said Suzara, who added that they had already distributed 53 of the 64 technical handbooks.
The 11 remaining technical handbooks are expected to be distributed by the end of the month.
The CDMs will have an ocular of the competition venues on Friday including a visit to the Philippine Arena in Bulacan where the opening ceremony is set to be held. They will then proceed to the New Clark City where the athletics, swimming and the athletes’ village are located.
There will be a third CDM meeting on October three after the deadline of the detailed entry by names of participating athletes from the 11 countries on September 2. A final CDM assembly is set on October 30.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles