The absence of an effective and efficient SEA Games communications plan is the culprit that has put the entire hosting in a tailspin.
PHISGOC officials should blame themselves for the organizational snafu that has been critically published in the print, broadcast and social media fora.
From the very start, since the Philippines was granted the rights to stage the 2019 biennial competitions, the PHISGOC has taken the wrong foot as it had failed to convey via a massive information campaign the positive developments affecting the country’s hosting.
For starters, by virtue of his being the then DFA Sec., PRRD appointed Cayetano as PHISGOC chair who quickly moved to ensure the budget for the event hosting was allotted to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Curiously, after he resigned as DFA chief – to the chagrin of newly-appointed DFA secretary Teddy Locsin, Cayetano did not relinquish his seat as PHISGOC top honcho. He made efforts and successfully transferred the SEAG budget from the DFA to the PSC which agency was under the organizational structure and umbrella of the PHISGOC.
PHISGOC officials committed a faux pas when they failed to extend an invite to the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) who could have easily lent its expertise in the dissemination of specific information as well as the handling and management of the International Press Center.
The PSA hierarchy is composed of veteran and battle-scarred sports editors, deskmen and sportswriters who have perennially covered international sports events like the Olympics, Asian Games, World Championships and other prestigious global competitions where they had personally hobnobbed with their foreign counterparts.
I did not hear of any arrangement that PHISGOC entered with the PSA which could have helped alleviate the burden they have on their hands now.
No one among the PHISGOC officials I know is a trained expert on sports communications much like those in the PSA who, even blindfolded, can tell us how press centers should be organized, handled and managed.
The excuses being offered by PHISGOC are as lame as a limped and tired horse ready to expire.
PHISGOC is just displaying an apologetic stance which critical observers see and perceive as insincere.
They failed to comprehend that laying out an effective communications plan should have been the intelligent strategy PHISGOC had to initialize.
For that matter, the PHISGOC has ignored completely that the media – the PSA in particular – are an integral part of any endeavor, activity, engagement and development.
Every good little thing that the PHISGOC, the POC and the PSC have achieved has gone to waste.
The P50M expense for the construction of the cauldron was another issue that PHISGOC failed to fully explain.
The truth is that we need not compare what other countries spent when they had their respective turns hosting the SEAG.
Evidently, Cayetano and his PHISGOC minions chose to do the entire job by themselves, perhaps thinking that they already had the wherewithal and the materials to achieve the task.
Woe and behold, they were mistaken.
The centralized manner by which PHISGOC operated the management and handling of the SEAG business pretty smells of something fishy.
The integrity of the PHISGOC officialdom is not unsullied, this much I know.
And this is shared by many people in the sports community. (Email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!