SEAG budget slashed from P7.5 billion to P5 billion

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 # PHISGOC also faces time constraints

 

The Southeast Asian Games budget of P7.5 billion has been slashed to P5 billion, giving the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) little or no room for contingencies for major construction works, hosting and athletes training with only less than nine months left before the Nov. 30 opening.

According to Phisgoc chairman Alan Peter Cayetano, the Senate has slashed the budget to P5 billion or a cut of almost 33 percent.

Cayetano said a thorough look at the hosting gave Phisgoc an idea that it could work within a budget of P6.5. But not P5 billion.

But with the new budget, they will have to raise at least P1.5 billion from the private sector to make things happen.

However, he said at this time of the year, local corporations or companies would have drawn up their budget for the entire year, including the extent of their participation in the SEA Games hosting.

“It’s not easy to call on these companies to increase their share on the hosting from P25 million to P50 million or P75M,” Cayetano said.

“What used to be a hill that Phisgoc had to climb is now a mountain,” said Cayetano during the presentation of the official SEA Games partners, including games management specialist and Olympics partner Atos, Philippine Airlines, GL Events, Grand Sport, Media Pro Asia, Marathon, and Asics, Mikasa and Molten under Sonak Corp.

Also on hand during yesterday’s presentation were Philippine Sports Commission chairman and Phisgoc vice chairman Butch Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general and Phisgoc director general Patrick Gregorio.

The Phisgoc brass, including POC president Ricky Vargas, was scheduled to meet with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea yesterday afternoon together with government representatives, particularly with the Budget Department.

Cayetano said there’s no such delay coming from Phisgoc as far as the planning and preparations are concerned. He said construction or repairs of venues and facilities are six percent ahead of schedule. The only delay, he said, lay in the fact that the country was late in accepting its role as substitute host.

“The real delay is with the approval and release of the budget. And with the delay, the budget was even cut by 33 percent,” said Cayetano. philstar.com 

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