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PHISGOC 'remains focused' to assure SEA Games hosting success

By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--PHISGOC reiterated that it will still assert its best effort to make the 30th Southeast Asian Games a success despite the challenges it faced early into the biennial meet.

"The [Philippine SEA Games] Organizing Committee remains focused on ensuring the success of the Philippine hosting of the 30th SEA Games, and assures the public that all government regulations have been observed in this great endeavor," PHISGOC said in a statement on Thursday.

As early as two days before the actual start of the games, numerous quirks were seen that went viral on social media, particularly the billeting situation among some football teams. PHISGOC has since apologized for the said manner.

[Related Story: PHISGOC says sorry for billeting mishaps of SEAG football teams]

But on Day 1 on Monday, some more problems came up from using the still unfinished squash center as the press room for the men's football matches at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila to the lack of tables at the press room of the Binan Football Stadium here to a now controversial claim from Malditas coach Let Dimzon that they were served kikiam for breakfast.

On Tuesday, the media room for the Manila matches were moved to the press room of the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, while additional tables were added at the Binan Football Stadium.

The following day, WhiteWoods Convention and Leisure Hotel in Silang, where the women's football teams are checking in, clarified that it was chicken sausage, not kikiam, that was part of its breakfast menu.

[Related Story: WhiteWoods Hotel says it's chicken sausage, not kikiam, in breakfast menu for SEA Games footbelles]

Despite the improvements and clarifications, PHISGOC reiterated that it will actively participate in any investigation that may take place right after the conclusion of the SEA Games on Dec. 11.

"Our chairman (House Speaker Alan Cayetano) has declared numerous times that we are willing to participate in any form of investigation on the 30th SEA Games after its conclusion," the statement added.

PHISGOC will also look at the seemingly erroneous reports that came in early on, saying, "We should be investigating too the proliferation of fake news a few days before the opening ceremony, which has put the organizing committee, the Games, and the country in a bad light."

With two days left before the formal opening of the SEA Games, PHISGOC "call on all Filipinos to stand together as one nation, one Team Philippines. Only in unity can we truly say that we win as one!"

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno