The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is set to convene with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to discuss their plans moving forward following the postponement of the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
The 31st edition of the biennial regional meet was originally set on November 21-December 3, but the SEA Games Federation deemed it best to stage it to a later date because of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
A meeting among the participating nations was held Thursday, and they were all in unison in calling off the tilt as the health and safety of all is of utmost importance, according to POC President Bambol Tolentino.
“We will have to discuss that in the board and, of course, with President Bambol anytime next week,” said PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, the chef de mission of the Philippine contingent to Hanoi.
“It’s really public safety that took priority, I believe, with their decision. So, we will have to meet with that and plan things out, go back to the drawing board.“
This postponement will definitely affect the preparations of national teams that have already been preparing for the multi-sporting event.
Back in April, Fernandez called for local government units (LGUs) to open their doors to national sports associations (NSA) when the athletes’ supposed bubble training last April 15 got cancelled due to stricter lockdown measures.
So far, LGUs from Ormoc (fencing and modern heptathlon), Dumaguete (archery), Zamboanga (weightlifting), Baguio (muay thai), Benguet (kickboxing), Taguig (volleyball and table tennis) and Tagaytay (cycling and chess) have heeded to the call, as well as Bohol, Cebu, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.
Fernandez said that the PSC will now wait for Vietnam’s decision for the new dates of the Games — Tolentino said that they have given them 10 days to decide on such — and then sit down with NSAs once more.
“We’ll just have to find out first when the dates will be, kung anong dates ang ibibigay ng Vietnam,” the 67-year-old cage luminary said.
“We will have to go back to the drawing board and talk to the NSAs [for] the minimum number of months they need to train for the event. We’ll play it by ear at this point.”