Philippines 2019 30th SEA Games FiascoNovember 26, 2019
Was the 7.5 billion peso SEA games budget really wasted?
This year’s SEA (Southeast Asian) Games is the 30th edition which will happen from the 30th of November to the 11th of December and this will be the fourth time the Philippines is chosen to be the host of the yearly event. For this edition, the competition venues were spread in 23 cities across the country, are divided into 4 clusters, all of which are located on the island of Luzon.
But with the overwhelming issues and criticisms, the government receives from their ways in handling the event (and the budget), will this be our country’s last year of hosting the SEA games?
The P50 million cauldron
Let’s break down the issues noted by the netizens, starting with the P50 million worth display cauldron.
Not only does the cauldron is pointed out to be a downsized and downgraded version of a proposed design for the 1998 Centennial tower by a known national artist and architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa,
but the budget breakdown that was made during the planning and construction of the cauldron is also questioned. President Duterte answered the allegations and doubts of why spend P50 million for a reused cauldron design by stating that it is impossible to estimate the “appropriate” cost of the cauldron’s design as it was a “product of the mind”.
“You cannot estimate how much nalugi ka (you lost) because it’s the rendition of the mind of the creator. Kung yan singil niya sabihin niya wag mo bilhin kung ayaw mo. Yan ang presyo ko (If that is the price he is asking for, he will say don’t get it if you don’t like my price).”President Rodrigo Duterte to Senator Drillon (2019)
Although the cauldron’s price tag sparked a fire on most netizens especially the anti-DDS, Senator Cayetano defends the P50 million worth cauldron by stating that this is way cheaper than the ones made by Singapore with a whooping P63 million price tag. According to him:
“Is it expensive, Yes. But is it worth it? It’s priceless. It’s a work of art.”Senator Peter Cayetano on the overpriced cauldron issue
Whether the cauldron is overpriced or not, netizens can no longer do anything about it since it is already built.
The Ala-Pobre “World-class” Food for the Champions
Setting aside the cauldron issue, let’s talk about the “world-class” cuisine that our government served to our players, and competitors from around the world.
They say that everything that was planned and made for this event showcases the Filipino culture and the improvements we’ve made through the years since our last hosting yet netizens continued to bash and criticize the government as a picture of the allegedly “world-class” breakfast served to all players roamed the net.
Kikiam, egg, and rice. Is that even a meal? For us Filipinos, kikiam is known as a meryenda supple. It is considered as street food as it is sold nationwide on the streets. As we know, kikiam is mostly composed of flour and a little hint of herbs and a type or combination of meat ~ which doesn’t give that many nutrients.
In the ANC’s interview with our country’s Women’s Football team coach Let Dimzon, she stated her dismay and shame for the food our government served for the players.
“I’m not sure kung paano (how the PHISGOC did the arrangement) arrangement ng PHISGOC, but the quality and quantity of food is not enough, sa variety din (the variety also lacks), like for this morning hindi enough yun rice and kikiam and egg, walang nutrients. (rice and kikiam and egg is not enough, it has no nutrients.)”PH Women’s Football team coach Let Dimzon
She also added that since the event is an international competition, the government should have prepared and served international courses as this will cater to all players and not just the local ones. She said that this led the players (local and international) to think that the budget probably can’t cover up other kinds of foods which made the government serve local and even street food as a meal.
Not only our Filipino coaches, players, and netizens are disappointed but so are the coaches and players from other countries.
Malaysian Women’s Football coach Joceph Jacob also responded to the served breakfast in the same interview:
“Today my breakfast, most of the players eat only bread and some egg. We have a big tournament, I hope they will improve the food.”Malaysian Women’s Football coach Joceph Jacob
Other countries also spoke out about the shortcomings observed in catering the players for this year’s SEA games
“We urgently seek your urgent and immediate attention to address the situations we are facing. We had tried our best to be patient and understanding. As much as we had tried to resolve the situations ourselves as well as with our sports and you, these situations cannot continue any further as our athletes are badly affected and are not able to prepare for the games effectively.”Singapore Chef De Mission Juliana Seow’s letter addressed to Ramon Suzara (Chief Operating Officer of PHISGOC)
Issues on accreditation to insufficient halal and food varieties for athletes and transportation issues are only some of the numerous issues other countries kept on addressing to our government.
Comments like this that were made by foreign players and their coaches as well as the citizens from their countries, made our players, as well as most of the netizens, feel ashamed of our country.
The “State of the Art” Logo
Going back to the topic that sparked the criticism of this year’s SEA Games, let’s talk about the infamous 2019 SEA Games logo.
After being presented a year ago at the Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly in Jakarta, the PH 30th SEA Games logo was ridiculed as it is a combination of simple circular objects assembled as the Islands of the Philippines.
A lot of netizens expressed their dismay and disappointment to the simplicity and the “lack of passion” and the “unjustifiable representation” of our country by showing off their own take of the 2019 SEA Games logo:
Others took this as a chance to raise their voices on some of the issues on our current government:
These issues may or may not be as important as it seems, it is our role as citizens to rise and use these as our stepping stone and defend what’s left of our country’s dignity and stop fighting each other. Instead of shaming one another because you don’t share the same beliefs as to what’s happening, let us try to voice out each opinion peacefully and show to the world that despite our government’s shortcomings, we Filipinos are still unified.
As the SEA Games 2019 approach, let us all keep our fingers crossed and hope that our government may deal with the issues raised by other countries and turn the current situation around.
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