POC chief’s call to meet on SEA Games audit report ‘right thing to do’, says committee chair

Manolo Pedralvez

Posted at Oct 24 2020 07:34 AM

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A “moral victory” for the 7 officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee Executive Board and the POC general assembly.

This is what committee chairman Steve Hontiveros said Friday after POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino announced Thursday that he would call for a special board meeting next week to tackle two important items.

These are the POC rules and guidelines for the POC polls on November 27, and the failure of the 2019 Philippine Southeast Asian Game Organizing Committee’s to submit its report, including the audited financial statements on Games, to the POC last October10.

POC secretary-general Atty. Gastanes officially notified POC board members Friday that the board meeting will be on October 30, Friday, with these items on the agenda together with the approval of the minutes of the previous board meetings.

“I and the other six officials on the POC board consider this a moral victory, and for the general assembly as well,” Hontiveros said of Tolentino’s announcement more than three weeks after the POC general assembly passed a motion during its online session last September 30 calling for the PHISGOC to submit the overdue report.

He mentioned the names of POC first vice-president Joey Romasanta, second vice president Col. (ret.) Jeff Tamayo, treasurer Julian Camacho, auditor Jonne Go and board members Robert Mananquil and Atty. Clint Aranas of billiards and snooker and archery, respectively.

Hontiveros was the presiding officer when the motion was made asking about the report of the PHISGOC, which had former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as the chairperson. The 30th SEA Games ended on December 11, 2019.

“We would like to cite Tolentino in finally calling for a board meeting regarding the issues surrounding PHISGOC, considering that no less than his predecessor Ricky Vargas has publicly stated that he is personally backing the POC general assembly resolution,” Hontiveros said.

“Even Vargas was enlightened and that it (the PHISGOC report) should come out.”

A certified public accountant, Hontiveros said “it is the moral thing to do. We have to do this and call this meeting to clear things up para walang sinasabi ang tao na may tinatago. (So that people will say that we are not hiding anything).

“At least we will have a better picture on how much money was spent for the SEA Games. We want to convey to the private sector and sponsors that the money they invest for sports doesn’t go to waste.”

Hontiveros said he and the 6 other officers on the 13-member POC board have been asking Gastanes repeatedly to call for the board meeting on the matter, but were told “8, not 7” making up the majority of the board membership.

He mentioned that the POC’s role as the overseer of the PHISGCOC was contained in the memorandum of agreement the two bodies signed with the Philippine Sports Commission on August 15 2019 that paved the way for the release of P6 billion in national government funds to run the 30th SEA Games.

Among the conditions in the agreement are for ”the POC shall monitor and oversee PHISGOC’S preparation, organization and winding-up of the 30th SEA Games” and that “ the POC oversee that the PHISGOC accounts for all the necessary expenses, including sponsorship, donations and the liquidation of government support in accordance with relevant rules and regulations.”