New POC president looks to regroup as SEA Games hosting nears

Beatrice Go
New POC president looks to regroup as SEA Games hosting nears
After Ricky Vargas' surprise resignation, new president Joey Romasanta plans to get the Philippine Olympic Committee board more involved in the 2019 SEA Games preparations

MANILA, Philippines – New Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Joey Romasanta is pressured to enforce changes soon with the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games happening in 5 monhts. 

“First things first, we need to regroup and find out what we have and don’t have and coordinate with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the plans and programs we need to make this SEA Games successful,” Romasanta told reporters on Tuesday, June 18, after  Ricky Vargas resigned as POC president. (TIMELINE: Will the POC feud affect PH’s SEA Games hosting?)

Romasanta planned to get the POC board more involved in the 2019 SEA Games preparations as the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) had been inking deals without the approval of the entire board. (READ: POC feud: ‘I’m not interested in the presidency,’ says Peping)

The majority of the board, including Romasanta, questioned the incorporation of PHISGOC Foundation Incorporation, which they claimed was not the same as the ad hoc committee that they approved in 2017. (2019 SEA GAMES: Cayetano debunks claims of questionable deals)

The POC board decided to continue preparing the regional biennial meet under the orginal committee agreed upon when Peping Cojuangco was POC president. 

“‘Yung PHISGOC, ang naresolve dito ng POC is to organize it as a committee (The POC resolved to organize PHISGOC as a committee),” said Romasanta. 

“Of course, we’re still looking into it and doing a careful study and meet with secretary Alan and the PHISGOC organization on how we can effect a transition with what they have now kasi ang lahat na nandito, maraming bagay na tumatakbo man, hindi namin nalalaman (because there are many things that are happening that we don’t know of),” he said. 

The POC board further discussed that the people working under PHISGOC foundation will be absorbed into the original committee in order to continue Philippines’ hosting activities. 

The succeeding POC president, however, poured in support for PSC chairman Butch Ramirez as Team Philippines’ chef de mission to the 2019 SEA Games as Monsour del Rosario handed in a resignation letter earlier. 

Some of the board members headed to PSC on Tuesday afternoon for a realignment meeting with Ramirez. 

Romasanta was one of the POC officials stripped of his appointive positions by Vargas during the May 27 General Assembly. He originally held the Philippines’ chef de mission post to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

The former POC 1st vice president is currently the vice president of the Larong Volleyball Pilipinas Incorporated which is headed by Peter Cayco.

Romasanta was the president of the defunct Philippine Karate Federation which was suspended by the World Karate Assocation due to the local officials’ alleged misuse of funds. – 




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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.