Mendoza: SEA Games blues

All write

WHAT? The SEA Games that we are set to host this year is still not airtight, preparations-wise?

The major concerns are the usual pain in the neck.

There is not enough personnel to properly handle, untangle, the choking points?

Venues are not yet in full harness, if not three-fourths done?

They are being constructed, mostly, at Clark. Others in the making are in Subic. And in some parts of Laguna, if not Quezon City?

It was two years ago when the Philippines won hosting rights—our fourth if consummated since the Games began in 1959 in Kuala Lumpur.

Each Southeast Asian country gets to host the biennial meet on rotation basis.

You can only skip it by saying you are not ready. But it’d be a shame if it’s done that way—habitually.

If a designated country isn’t ready, it can switch its hosting right to someone able, willing and ready.

There was this bold suggestion for us to switch places with Thailand.

The Philippines as host in 2021 and Thailand hosting it this year.

It fell through, apparently because Filipino pride got in the way.

Actually, it is always a boon for any country to host the SEA Games, the region’s No. 1 sporting meet, next to the Asian Games.

The No. 1 benefit a country can derive from the SEA Games is tourism.

The SEA Games has been perennially a country’s major seller and tourist arrivals triple, if not quadruple, the next year after the event’s conclusion.

But in every undertaking whether big or not, we know that kinks can butt in and spoil the party.

Usually, venues (there are 56 sports this year), personnel to run the event, and money are the chief components needed to ensure success.

Amid cries of concern bedeviling the SEA Games, Federico Moreno, archery’s former top arrow, had this to say: “Why not consider outsourcing it?”

Makes sense.

For one, I know that organizing committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano is broad-minded enough as to be open to suggestions.

For another, Olympic head Ricky Vargas and Philippine Sports Commission chief Butch Ramirez have always been open to new ideas.

Let’s go get ‘em, guys.


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