By FRED M. LOBO
Fred M. Lobo
The Philippines has dominated the on-going Southeast Asian Games after a colorful opening, prompting the government to entertain the idea of hosting the 2030 Asian Games.
PH stands as a proud and hospitable host of SEAG. Pinoy athletes shine and lead in the competition.
The country had already won a total of 119 – 56 of them gold — as of Thursday as Filipinos continue to dominate the games opened by President Duterte and other top officials at the Philippine Arena.
Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHSGOC), has recommended to the President that the country bid for the hosting of the Asian Games in 2030.
“The Philippines is capable of organizing bigger-scale Games and it will be advaneous for the country,” Cayetano said, quoting Asian sports leaders.
He pointed out that the colorful opening and the holding of the SEA Games in Bulacan, Manila, New Clark City, and other sites in Luzon won praises, despite initial controversies raised by Opposition leaders and other parties.
He said Olympics Council of Asia Vice President Wei Jizhong himself praised Filipino hospitality and capability and suggested that the Philippines bid for the Asian Games and other “bigger events.”
The Sports Industry Awards Asia, an international sports business and conference award-giving body, also recognized the PHSGOC as the “Best SEA Games Organizer.”
“We are humbled by this recognition and we will strive to keep the momentum going for the country,” the Speaker said.
“The athlete’s admirable quest for glory and noble goal of giving pride to our country are recognized,” Pagcor also said in a statement.
More recognition and rewards for Filipino athletes coming.
Meanwhile, the P4.1-trillion proposed national budget for 2020 is now being finalized by Congress’ bicameral conference committee for submission to and approval by President Duterte.
No delay, please. Early budget approval to ensure national growth.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the upper chamber will likely approve next week the final version of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) submitted earlier by the House of Representative, as required by the Constitution.
“We’re on track. I understand that in the bicam there will be very few points of disagreement,” Sotto said.
Senate assurance welcomed by Malacanang.
The Senate president expressed confidence that there would be no repeat of the Senate – House impasses over the 2019 national budget.
P95-billion worth of post-ratification insertions were blamed for that delay.
Sotto said Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chairman of the Senate Finance Committeehas not reported serious bicameral contentions on the proposed budget..
“ I don’t expect Speaker Cayetano and the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations to do something like that,” Sotto added.
The Senate president defended some realignments, including P3 billion from the National Food Authority’s (NFA) palay procurement fund moved to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), as proposed by Sen. Cynthia Villar.
Villar’s move would benefit small rice farmers through cash assistance of P5,000 each after being displaced by the Rice Tariffication Law, he said.
Sotto also took exception to the claim of House Ways and Means Committee chairman Albay Rep. Joey Salceda that the Senate’s proposed realignments of some P235 billion is questionable and amounted to “dagdag-bawas.”
All is hopefully well, provided no “pork barrel” rolls out in the open.
Sotto said that after the final bicameral review, Congress will immediately submit the 2020 national budget to President Dutertefor his approval..
Congress’ fine-tuned budget a timely Christmas gift to Malacanang.
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