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PSC, POC, PHISGOC sign agreement for SEA Games hosting

Representatives from the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee signed a tripartite agreement for the Southeast Asian Games. Philip Matel/ESPN5

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) signed a tripartite agreement to ensure the smooth sailing of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The biennial regional sporting meet, set to be hosted by the country from November 22 to December 11, will primarily rely on the three agencies for the success of the event's biggest edition ever.

In the agreement signed Wednesday morning at the PSC office at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, it was agreed upon that the government agency shall be providing public funds to the PHISGOC. The contract signing were attended by the heads of the three agencies, namely PSC Chairman William Ramirez and his commissioners, POC Pres. Abraham Tolentino, POC Chairman Steve Hontiveros, and PHISGOC COO Ramon Suzara.

POC, the recognized Olympic council of the country, will monitor the performance of the organizing committee if it adheres to the signed contract.

The PHISGOC will have the most daunting task of all in the upcoming SEA Games. It will be assigned to the nitty-gritty of the meet, including preparing, organizing, and executing the actual events. PHISGOC will also be eligible for auditing by the Commission on Audit at the request of the PSC to ensure transparency of the procurement and liquidation process.

According to Suzara, construction of the facilities finished "way ahead of schedule."

The two main venues, the Athletics Stadium and Aquatic Center in turn will be holding a sport rehearsal for the PATAFA and PSI, the national sporting federations for track and swimming, respectively on August 27.

Chairman Ramirez, meanwhile, hopes the agencies can settle differences to ensure success for not only themselves but the country.

"Whatever transpired in the past, it's a part of the journey. That makes it historic despite a very tight condition, the time, but I would look at it, if we take care of the athletes, the heart and soul of the Southeast Asian Games, we might be able to deliver a miracle," Ramirez referring to the overall title that the Philippines last won in 2005.

Suzara stated that the PHISGOC is considering adding Vietnamense martial art vovinam to the list of events, possibly increasing the count to 57. It has been included in the past two editions as a demonstration sport.

Vietnam is expected to host in 2021. However, it will need approval from the SEA Games Federation, the partnership of all 11 member countries.