As foreign teams arrived in Manila over the weekend, numerous issues concerning transportation and accommodation began to surface. Teams from Timor-Leste, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia were inconvenienced by various logistical problems once arriving in the country. The Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) issued an apology on Sunday, November 24 in response to this.
“We sincerely apologize to our athlete guests from Timor-Leste, Myanmar, and Cambodia for the inconvenience caused to them by the confusion regarding their transportation and hotel arrangements. While PHISGOC strives to ensure proper coordination of the arrival details, airport welcome and transportation provisions of all international teams to their respective assigned hotels, we acknowledge our shortcomings in this particular incident and vow to do better,” the statement read, noticeably excluding Thailand from the apology.
PHISGOC attempted to explain the problems: “For the information of the public, the confusion with the Timor-Leste football team happened when some of their members were initially brought to the Century Hotel along with the rest of the team. However, the Timor-Leste coordinator pointed out that some were actually billeted at the nearby Hotel Jen. PHISGOC was able to arrange the delegates’ shuttle to the other hotel.”
“As to the Cambodian football team, their change in arrival details was relayed late to the PHISGOC Games Services Department. Instead of the arrival time initially relayed to PHISGOC, the Cambodian team arrived in NAIA at 4 AM. Transportation was immediately provided, but since their hotel rooms were not yet available because the standard check-in time is 2 PM, PHISGOC requested that the team be allowed to wait at an air-conditioned private hotel conference room with tables and chairs where the members could rest and feel comfortable while waiting for their rooms,” it continued.
“There were 34 international arrivals on Friday, November 22, in our NAIA Terminals, consisting of seven (7) sports team delegations, technical officials and representatives of the respective National Olympic Committees,” PHISGOC stated. “Yesterday, November 23, there were 38 arrivals in our NAIA Terminals and 5 arrivals in our Clark International Airport of SEA Games athletes, delegates and officials.”
“While we are pleased to report that in the past two days there have been 75 international arrivals, consisting of various sports team delegations, technical officials and representatives of the respective National Olympic Committees, that have gone off without a hitch, the incident with the two teams remain a constant reminder for us as organizers to be more diligent. We owe it to our guests and our countrymen,” it concluded.
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