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POC to make stand after special meeting

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said yesterday that it needs to feel the pulse of the heads of national sports associations (NSAs) before making its stand in the wake of Malacañang’s announcement that it will no longer proceed with the hosting of the 2019 SEA Games.

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POC Secretary General Steve Hontiveros said they have first to consult the NSAs in a Board meeting and a General Assembly on Wednesday – two days after President Duterte makes his State of the Nation address.

The sporting community was shocked the other day when Malacañang through Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez announced its cancellation of support and the funds to be used in the hosting will be channeled to the rehabilitation of Mindanao, especially Marawi.

Government support is vital in hosting an event of bigger magnitude like SEA Games.

“This is a democratic country. Hindi naman natin pwedeng basta-bastang i-withdraw lang yung hosting without asking for feedback from the Board Members and most especially, the leaders from the National Sports Associations,” said Hontiveros.

Hontiveros said the SEAG Federation has already reached out to the POC following the news breakout, but hasn’t given them the final decision regarding the issue.

“I think most of the NSAs wanted us to host the SEAG. Siyempre malaki ang chance natin to get medals if we’re playing in our own turf,” Hontiveros said.

“But like I said, we’ll take it up to the General Assembly before we deal with this matter,” he added.