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Move SEAG to next year – POC

A day following a change of leadership, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is considering moving the 30th Southeast Asian Games to the first quarter of next year and reducing the number of events.

POC president Joey Romasanta, who assumed the post following the sudden resignation of Ricky Vargas, has instructed former POC secretary-general Steve Hontiveros to call for an emergency SEA Games Federation Council meeting.

Romasanta said there’s a need to brief the 10 other member countries on the country’s preparations stalled by a thorny legal issue.

He said that while incoming Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was tasked to organize the Games, the organizing committee is supposed to function as a mere ad hoc committee under the POC.

Cayetano heads the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation, Inc., a body formed without the approval of the POC board, according to Romasanta.

There were also questions about the venues tapped by the Phisgoc Foundation as it decided to move some sports away from the main hub at the New Clark City in Tarlac.

The marketing campaign, transportation and volunteer program of the Phisgoc Foundation are also being probed.

But the biggest question on the Philippines status as officially ready for the SEA Games is the production of technical handbook to be followed by the participating countries.

The Phisgoc Foundation does not have it, putting national sports association officials and their foreign counterparts in the dark as to how the event will be ran.

NSA officials said they already submitted their technical guidelines as early as January.

“A lot of work still needs to be done,” said Romasanta, an old hand in Philippine sports.

“We have to regroup and sync everything together not just on the part of the POC, but also on the part of the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission), the SEA Games Federation Council, and our national government. Everybody has to be aligned and be on the same page. We have to find a solution in every problem,” said Romasanta who paid a courtesy call on PSC chairman William Butch Ramirez.

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