MANILA -- The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and two other major venues to be utilized in the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games will start undergoing renovations for the Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 meet.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez made the announcement Tuesday following the appropriation of a total of PHP842 million by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) for the repairs of 11 other facilities, including the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, PhilSports Arena, the Baguio training center, among others.
“We are making sure that there are 10-12 government sports facilities ready to assess, help the preparations of the PHISGOC (Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee). We are hoping that all of these will be finish by September,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez made the statement in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila, stressing the government agency has not been remiss in its role of extending major support to help Filipino athletes in their quest to win anew the overall title of the SEA Games.
Other than the game venues, also part of the Pagcor appropriation is the refurbishment of the athletes’ dormitory, construction of a new medical building with eight to 10 medical doctors, two nutrition halls, and an ecumenical chapel.
“The sports facilities, dormitories, venues, halls, before the SEA Games bago na ang itsura ng Rizal, Ultra, and Baguio (will have new look). So as chairman and leader of the (PSC) Board), I’m very happy to announce it before you (PSA),” Ramirez said in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Pagcor, Tapa King, and Amelie Hotel-Manila.
Ramirez is confident Pagcor, through Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, would be able to release the amount as soon as possible.
“Nakikiusap kami sa(We appeal to) Pagcor that SEA Games is coming na matulungan naman kami para masimulan na yung (to help us so that we can start) construction ,” said the PSC chief, who nonetheless understands where Pagcor is coming from.
“Of course, it’s not easy asking for PHP842 million,” he added.
During the same session, Ramirez also disclosed holding a general assembly with athletes and coaches on Wednesday to explain everything the PSC have been doing to ensure a better showing for Team Philippines in the SEA Games.
“Pag nalaman nilang resolved yung mga needs ng mga bata at tsaka yung kaunting problema na hindi namin na-communicate, lalakas ang loob nila na tumutulong pala ang gobyerno(Once they will know that the needs of athletes and other small problems have been resolved, our sponsors will help us),” he said.
Ramirez said there are 1,452 national athletes under the PSC care at Rizal Memorial and PhilSports with 578 of them under junior development.
They are classified as platinum, class A, class B, class C, training pool, and junior development.
Platinum is composed of eight sports namely, billiards, bowling, taekwondo, weightlifting, wind surfing, and three PHILSPADA.
“Ito yung malaking chance na mag-medal sa (This is the best chance to win medal in) SEA Games until the Olympics,” said Ramirez.