Fernandez to meet Tolentino on Hanoi plans

PHILIPPINE Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) chef de mission Ramon Fernandez said he would sit down with Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino on how they will make do with the limited budget they have for the Hanoi edition set on May 12-25.

Mr. Fernandez, a Philippine Sports Commission board member, said the SEA Games-bound national team composed of 627 athletes plus coaches, technical officials and delegation members will have only a budget of P121 million.

It was P29 million short from the projected amount of P150 million that should cover everything from training to actual participation.

“We will talk at 2 p.m. tomorrow (today),” said Mr. Fernandez referring to Mr. Tolentino.

Mr. Fernandez suggested the “have money, will travel” policy to some sports wherein a national sports association (NSA) would pay for its own and if it snares at least a medal, it would be reimbursed by the sports-funding agency.

“It’s possible. But again, it will really depend on the government allocation especially now that revenues are affected with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases rising again,” said Mr. Fernandez.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fernandez said the resumption of training for national athletes bound for Hanoi will be held soon as the venues being refurbished — PhilSports Complex in Pasig and Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila — are close to completion.

“The protocols are also in place. We’re just waiting for food caterers as well as the COVID-19 situation to improve. If they would come in, it must be one at a time to avoid more spread,” said Mr. Fernandez. — Joey Villar