By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

SOUTHEAST ASIAN Games hosting stakeholders are ready to “win as one” after they finally formalized and strengthened their partnership with the signing of the tripartite agreement for the country’s hosting of the biennial sporting meet later this year.

Took place on Wednesday morning at the Philippine Sports Commission conference room, officials of the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) gathered and signed the agreement of cooperation to ensure the success of the SEA Games hosting.

Signatories to the agreement were PSC Chairman William Ramirez, POC President Abraham Tolentino, and PHISGOC Chief Executive Officer Ramon Suzara.

Witnessing the signing of the agreement were officials of said organizations, including POC Chairman Steve Hontiveros.

The tripartite agreement, whose signing was delayed because of the many issues hounding the Philippines’ hosting of the Games, contains the duties of the different organizations involved as well as expectations from them.

The PSC, as per the agreement, primarily is in charge of the disbursement of funds, pursuant to the General Appropriations Act of 2019, to the PHISGOC and oversee the proper use of funds as well as assist in procurement.

For the POC, as the original franchisee of the SEA Games, it will be in charge of the monitoring of the performance and obligations of the PHISGOC and coordinate with and ensure the autonomy of the national sports associations regarding the competition requirements in their respective events, among other things.

The PHISGOC, for its part, will primarily be responsible for the actual preparations, organization, management and execution of the hosting of the 30th SEA Games while conducting itself in accordance with the Olympic charter and ASEAN federation.

Mr. Ramirez said the signing of the tripartite agreement was a welcome development, especially how the preparations have been made to hurdle various obstacles.

He said the agreement is not perfect, but it nonetheless shows the willingness of all parties to work together from here on, and something to build on moving forward.

“It’s always beautiful and positive to think of a strong collective activity among people (like this agreement). What happened in the past is part of the journey, making this signing historic. Despite the tight conditions we believe we can deliver. Though the agreement comes a little late I’m still happy that we are here working together and marching together,” said Mr. Ramirez, who is also the chef de mission of the Philippines to the SEA Games.

The preparations of the country’s hosting have been hit by various issues, including those involving the budget and the legality of PHISGOC as the organizing committee.

But breakthroughs in clearing the air have happened via talks among organizers, who have expressed confidence that the venues and facilities for the Games will be ready on time.

The 30th Southeast Asian Games happens from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.