MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III believes that the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games is “in order” and “thought of”, despite several reported glitches, logistical and other problems before the formal start of the biennial games.
The SEA Games will run until December 11.
The crowd reacts as members of the Philippine team walk during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (Photo Aaron Favila / AP)
“Yes, very satisfied. Even the preparations, everything was in order and everything was thought of,” Sotto said on Tuesday.
“Kahit sabihin mo pang may nagda-dialogue na delay daw yung budget, na delay daw sila (Even there are people saying the budget [for the SEA Games] had been delayed), still, the preparations were enough for the country to be happy about the results. They are honored to be Filipinos…”
“So let’s keep on praying, let’s keep on supporting our athletes because they carried the flag of the Philippines,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, however, believed there were shortcomings in the country’s preparations, despite the P6 billion budget allocated.
Duterte: Proper use of P6-B budget could’ve avoided SEA Games hosting flaws
“Well, I am not attributing it to anybody, but you know, it’s a huge fund and there ought not to have problems,” the President earlier said.
Told about Duterte’s statement, Sotto insisted that many of the reported problems were said to be fake news.
And Duterte would probably realize it too, later on, Sotto said.
Still, Sotto believed there should be an accounting of the budget spent on the event.
But he said criticisms on the production of the SEA Games opening ceremonies and the P50 million budget for the cauldron should be set aside.
The accounting or reporting could be conducted by the organizing committee, the Philippine Sports Commission, or by the Committee on Finance of the Senate or the House of Representatives.
“Pwedeng hindi inquiry, pwedeng hearing, pwedeng reporting (It may not be in the form of an inquiry, it can be a hearing, reporting), whatever you’d like to call it. The most important thing is that there should be accountability and there will be accountability…” Sotto said.
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