Phisgoc to Lacson: Every centavo spent to ensure ‘successful’ hosting of SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines — Every centavo spent on the preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games was for benefit of athletes, as well as to ensure the country’s “successful” hosting of the biennial, the Philippine Southeast Asian Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) said Thursday.
The committee’s statement comes after Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson remarked that the transfer of the P1.5 billion in public funds, to be used for the preparation of the games, were transferred from the Philippine Sports Committee to Phisgoc.
During an interview over ANC, Lacson compared the transfer to the P10-billion pork barrel scam hatched by Janet Lim-Napoles.
In a statement, Phisgoc chief operating officer (COO) Ramon Suzara said that Lacson is welcome to inspect “the world-class facilities” and other requirements it has prepared for the games “so that he can see for himself how the funds were prudently spent by the organizers.”
Suzara added that while Phisgoc is a private foundation, 80 percent of the members come from the government, which includes House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who is the chairman of the committee.
‘Race against time’
Suzara also pointed out that Lacson “may have forgotten” that due to the delays in the 2019 national budget approval, the Phisgoc had to “race against time” to procure the necessary equipment and other requirements for the games.
And since the budget was only signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last April, Suzara pointed out that the government had less than six months “to procure all that was needed to ensure the Philippines’ seamless hosting of the SEA Games.”
The Phisgoc COO added that while Cayetano suggested to Duterte that the procurement be done by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the committee had “no choice” but to do part of its job due to the lack of time.
“It takes several months to get things moving in compliance with procurement rules before either the DBM or PSC can bid out contracts,” Suzara said.
“We had less than six months to mobilize to ensure that the SEA Games would push through,” he added.
Edited by MUF
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