With Typhoon Tisoy bearing down on the country and threatening to disrupt the country's hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, organizers assured the public that they are prepared for any eventuality.
PHISGOC COO Ramon "Tats" Suzara" said that contingency plans have been in place ever since for a typhoon event.
"One of the major things that we are monitoring is not too much delays and cancellations of the competition. Second is the safety of the athletes. We are ready for the typhoon," Suzara said during a press briefing held Monday afternoon, or around 24 hours before Tisoy is forecast to be closest to Metro Manila.
Suzara also ruled out the possibility of extending the Games beyond December 10, explaining that each affected event will be handled on a case-to-case basis. "That is the decision of PHISGOC and the technical delegates. There will be a realignment based on the competition format."
The strength of the storm, Suzara added, will determine how organizers approach any adjustments. Indoor events may still push through if the typhoon is not as destructive as feared, but with no spectators.
Organizers added that sailing and windsurfing will be held after the typhoon passes.
"I think after the storm passes we can adjust by a day or two," Suzara said.
"Those events don't have any other event to share their venue with," added POC president Bambol Tolentino. "So we can just postpone."
"What we have to worry about is that there are some flights being cancelled," Celso Dayrit, SEAG Federation executive committee chairman, said.
In latest weather bulletin released issued at 11:00 a.m., state weather agency PAGASA said Tisoy is expected to bring "frequent to continuous heavy to intense rains over Central Luzon, Metro Manila, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Mindoro Provinces, Marinduque, and Romblon" between Tuesday noon and Wednesday noon with Metro Manila possibly under TCWS (typhoon cylone wind signal) number 3, or winds of up to 170 kilometers per hour. The typhoon is forecast to be 80 kilometers south southeast of Alabat, Quezon on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Olympic Council of Asia vice president Wei Jizhong commended the country's hosting so far, calling it "credible". He also expressed his satisfaction with Saturday's opening ceremony at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue.
"The opening ceremony in the Philippine Arena is unique and biggest in the world," Wei said. "We witnessed the enthusiasm of all the participants, all the athletes. The parade is an honor for the athletes. You did very well."
Wei added that based on what he's seen, the Philippines is capable of hosting "bigger events". He admitted he had heard horror stories about Manila's traffic situation, but he has not been inconvenienced ever since arriving. "I arrive on time," Wei said.
Meanwhile, Suzara neither confirmed nor denied that the lighting of the controversial cauldron in New Clark City was pre-taped, as claimed by some sources.
"It doesn't matter," he said. "It's a television show, it's entertainment, It's a unique opening ceremony, it's indoors."
Spectators and media, who were looking forward to the cauldron lighting at the New Clark City athletics stadium Saturday afternoon, were asked to leave the venue.