SENATOR Sonny Angara called for a ceasefire on the debates regarding the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) once the athletes start arriving for the opening of the event this November 30.
As the host country for the 30th edition of the SEA Games, Angara said the entire nation must be united and show its ASEAN neighbors what the world-famous Filipino hospitality is all about.
He also said the negative news about the hosting of the Games could also serve as a distraction to the athletes, who should be focusing on their training and events.
“Hosting ng Games yan. Dapat naka-concentrate tayo dito. Kasi yung mga atleta natin, kapag maraming issue, baka ma-distract e. Dapat naka-focus lang sa mga competition nila,” Angara said.
Angara, the chairman of the Committee on Finance, said the necessary audit into the expenses made for the Games, including the construction of the facilities, will be done as part of the regular processes of the government.
“Dadaan naman talaga sa auditing ang lahat ng yan. Lahat ng gastusin ng gobyerno ay dadaan talaga sa cost audit. Titignan ito ng Commission on Audit. Yun talaga ang trabaho ng ahensya—kung nagastos ba ng tama ng ahensya yung pera dyan,” Angara said.
Based on information provided by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Angara said the sports facilities constructed for the SEA Games would eventually make money for the government, which was estimated at a minimum of P100 million annually.
BCDA president Vince Dizon has informed Angara that the maintenance of the sports facilities would cost an estimated P188 million a year and that this would be done by the private sector.
The BCDA has stated that as early as now, three local real estate developers have expressed interest in undertaking the maintenance of the facilities.
“Ganun ang plano nilang gawin para mabawasan yung maintenance cost ng gobyerno kasi may kalakihan din yung gastos sa pag-maintan nito,” Angara said.
The SEA Games will run from November 30 to December 11 and will be held at different venues including the New Clark City in Pampanga, the Subic Bay Freeport and Metro Manila.