by Nick Giongco
Malacañang on Monday approved an additional P1 billion for the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games scheduled Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, the Philippine SEAG Organizing Committee said yesterday.
No less than PHISGOC chair Alan Peter Cayetano, formerly the Foreign Affairs secretary, who revealed Malacanang’s decision to add P1 billion to the current P5-billion budget.
Originally, the PHISGOC requested for P7.5 billion but it was turned down by lawmakers and slashed 35 percent off the initial figure.
“We are very much encouraged by the support of the President and the Cabinet. During the Cabinet briefing, we committed to have the best viewed and best hosted SEA games,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano was joined in the briefing by Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) President, Vince Dizon and Executive Board member and PHISGOC Chief Operating Officer Ramon Suzara.
“The President agreed to augment the current budget of the SEA Games because he understood the importance of the SEA Games to the Filipino athletes and its long-term benefits to the tourism and economic sectors in the country,” Cayetano added.