Militant solons push probe on SEAG funds

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    LEFT-LEANING Makabayan bloc congressmen have filed House Resolution 602 urging the House committee on good government and public accountability to look into how public funds were spent for the 30th Southeast Asian Games that ended last Wednesday.

    “It is the primordial duty of the Congress, in the exercise of its legislative and oversight functions, to ensure that the people’s money was utilized for the benefit of the Filipino people and not wasted due to government inefficiency and corruption,” the militant lawmakers said in d House Resolution No. 602.

    Albay Rep. Joey Salceda earlier said it was unlikely for the House to investigate the issues because House members stand by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation Inc.

    The lawmakers specifically want to scrutinize how the P5 billion budget for the hosting of the SEA Games was used on top of the P77.2 million for general administration and support under the Philippine Sports Commission’s budget for 2019.

    The Makabayan bloc cited the controversial P50 million cauldron that was used for the SEA Games and the P1.5 billion “financial assistance” that Phisgoc accepted.

    The progressive lawmakers questioned why WSL-MSC, a sports management system provider, received a notice of award from the Department of Budget and Management just seven weeks before the games.

    Senate sports committee chair Christopher “Bong” Go had also said he will conduct an investigation into the workings of the organizing committee after the games end so as not to distract the athletes.

    The games, held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, were hounded by controversy before it started, with the P55 million used to build the cauldron for the games flame tagged as “too expensive.” Complaints over billeting, transportation and food also hogged the headlines.

    But Filipino athletes ignored the distractions and won the overall crown for the second time by collecting 149 gold medals.