PHISGOC appeals to Filipinos: 'Be positive, let's be patient'

SEA Games organizers look to change narrative around preparations (3:05)

SEA Games organizers are trying to shift attention away from complaints from visiting delegations on issues ranging from logistical problems to incomplete construction at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. (3:05)

Organizers of the Southeast Asian Games urged the public to move on from the reported hiccups in the past days. There have been numerous reported mishaps in the past few days ranging from on-going construction in the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium and concerns regarding food.

Philippines SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) COO Ramon "Tats" Suzara and Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino requested the press to report on more "positive" events during the biennial sporting meet.

"Let's help each other. I'm appealing to [media] to give a positive note on what [the organizers] have done," Suzara said in a press conference at the World Trade Center Wednesday afternoon. "I'm appealing to all of you to be positive, so let's be patient. We'll do our best."

Suzara said he has not personally read the negative reports and issues which have been circulating online.

"I have been reading a lot of social media posts. ... It doesn't look good. Our fellow Filipinos are bringing us down," he said.

Food safety utmost concern

Meanwhile, PHISGOC executive chef Bruce Lim cleared the air and assured that every venue's menu is Halal-certified, meaning that it conforms to standards set by Islam.

He even invited journalists to view how his staff prepares the food, which he promises will bring adequate nutrition to the athlete's caloric needs.

"Because we want to make way for our Muslim brothers and sisters to see that we care about [their needs]," Lim said. "I think it was just for the safety of our athletes. And we wanted to be fair with everyone. I believe that people who do consume pork can live for 15 without it, and if they wanted to eat pork, they can always leave the venue and eat somewhere else."

To follow standards, the PHISGOC hired third-party Halal-certfied contractors to cater for the various venues.

In addition, Lim is supervising numerous Chef de parties (station chefs) and food safety inspectors to check the quality of the food.