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POC chief calls for unity as PH goes full blast as SEA Games host

MANILA -- Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino on Tuesday appealed to all Filipinos to “stand as one” as the country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games is ready to go full blast.

The POC chief reminded everyone that it’s only the fourth time the Philippines is hosting the SEA Games after 1981, 1991 and 2005, and the next hosting will not come until 10 or 12 years from now.

“Remember, the next time we will host this could be in 2030. So, let’s not pull each other down. This is for the country,” he said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.

The past couple of days were marred by the failure of the local organizers meeting the demands of a multi-nation event, including accommodation, transportation and other basic needs of foreign delegates.

“We all make mistakes that’s why we should work together. Those in the social media, the netizens, let’s move on first with our hosting,” said the congressman and chief of Philippine cycling.

“It’s normal,” he said of what he described as minor glitches, leading to complaints regarding the food being provided to the athletes, and accreditations with mistaken identities.

“I’ve experienced that myself,” Tolentino said during the forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

What’s important, the POC chief added, is for Filipinos to rally being the athletes and the hosting in general.

“Let’s just focus on our athletes. With this, my statement will be not only for us to ‘we win as one’ but ‘we stand as one’ in hosting this SEA Games,’” he added.

“All these problems have solutions and they are being addressed and being solved,” Tolentino said. (PR)

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