|One less sporting event for the Philippine team in 2022, but the SEA Games are now finally set. Jade Moya (file photo)|
MANILA—The COVID-19 situation took its toll on the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games as Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino announced on Saturday that host country Thailand is postponing the said event to 2023.
Although the COVID-19 growth rate in the said country has slowed down (only 11,754 new cases were reported on Friday, less than half of the record-high 23,418 the Thai government reported on Aug. 13), Thailand still opted to call off for now the AIMAG, which is scheduled for March 10-20, 2022.
With the AIMAG postponed for a full year, Tolentino is now expecting a slight cut on the Philippine Sports Commission's 2022 budget.
Tolentino successfully batted for a PHP650 million addition to the PSC's budget last week, PHP150 million of which is allotted for the AIMAG.
“As I have committed in my manifestation during the budget hearing for the PSC, the budget for any of these games that will be canceled or postponed will have to be excluded or returned to the National Treasury,” Tolentino said.
However, Tolentino also said that the Southeast Asian Games will now be scheduled in May next year with Hanoi still the host city.
He added that Vietnam has yet to set the final date for the SEA Games, but he presumes, "It would be in the latter part of May 2022."
The Cavite congressman clarified that his revelation is pending official announcements from the Thai and Vietnamese governments.
“We are expecting both governments of Thailand and Vietnam to make the official announcements next week,” Tolentino said.
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