Ramirez wants more buzz as 2019 SEA Games nears

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez says there's a lack of promotion on the country's hosting of the SEA Games less than 4 months before the regional meet unfolds

Beatrice Go

Published: 4:45 PM August 14, 2019

Updated: 4:45 PM August 14, 2019

PROMOTION. PSC chairman William Ramirez wants to spread awareness on the 2019 SEA Games. Photo by Beatrice Go/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez said he's disappointed with the lack of promotion on the country's hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games set to unfold in less than 4 months.  

"We would like to see signs of venues that this is the place where the game is to be played immediately," said Ramirez after visiting the Subic and Clark venues.

"There should be tarpaulins to create awareness that these are venues where the sport is being played in Subic and Clark." 

On Wednesday, August 14, the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) signed a long-overdue tripartite agreement for the country's hosting of the regional biennial meet. 

The agreement states the roles of each organization in the preparations and operations of the SEA Games. 

Ramirez said that past issues – including the delayed budget, the POC squabble and the PHISGOC corruption allegations – were the cause of the 2019 SEA Games' "tight" situation. But he considered the previous events as "lessons learned."

"I don’t look at today as a very tight situation to the SEA Games, but those things taught us lessons that we have to work on," said Ramirez during the press conference held after the signing. 

Among the issues PSC and PHISGOC is trying to resolve within the next month is the government's procurement for a total of 25 projects as the biddings are still ongoing. 

According to PHISGOC executive director Ramon "Tats" Suzara, the SEA Games Organizing Committee is also waiting for the official awarding of the bids that will allow them to respond to Ramirez's concern of unaggresive promotion of the games across all clusters. 

"Even with the signages and the banners, it’s part of the procurement. So what we’re doing now in PHISGOC, we are getting this from the private support and funding," said Suzara, who is expecting the final bids on September 15. 

Grand opening 

Up next for the PHISGOC is the discussion on plans for the November 30 opening ceremony in the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. 

The organizing committee is looking to tap singers Lea Salonga and Arnel Pineda to open the regional meet, while apl.de.ap, the Filipino member of theThe Black Eyed Peas, is slated to take the stage during the closing ceremonies. 

"This is the first time that the opening ceremonies will be done indoors [and done digitally]," added Suzara. 

Aside from the program, there is a need to discuss the logistics of the event with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as the PHISGOC looks to ease the traffic by closing NLEX for public use 12 hours before the start of the event. 

There will be buses provided for the public, as the PHISGOC is aiming to buy 362 buses, 162 sedans and 100 VIP cars while renting 268 vans for the use of the entire games. – Rappler.com