Fernandez honored and humbled as SEAG 2021 Chef de Mission
TALISAY CITY, Cebu – PSC Commissioner Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez is elated for having been appointed as the Team Philippines Chef de Mission (CDM) for the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
“I am humbled and honored for the assignment. I will work hard to live up to the expectations,” Fernandez said.
Although it is the first time that Fernandez is appointed as CDM, he is already familiar with the tasks that go with the role as he was an assistant chairman to PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who was the CDM in the 30th Southeast Asian Games which was hosted by the Philippines in December 2019.
The 31st edition of this biennial games will be held from November 21 to December 2 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Fernandez said that he will be flying to Manila by the end of the month for a meeting with all stakeholders including the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and lay down the plans for Team Philippines’ campaign to the Vietnam SEA Games.
Of utmost concern is securing COVID-19 vaccines for the athletes who will be representing the Philippines.
“Hopefully by May or June, we can already start the vaccination of our athletes so they can start training,” said Fernandez.
According to Fernandez, aside from the sport’s stakeholders, they will be coordinating with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Department of Health, and all other agencies concerned.
He added that PSC Chairman Ramirez is coordinating with the IATF and the DOH for the inclusion of the members of the team to the SEA Games among the priority to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Fernandez said that as CDM, aside from being the head of delegation, he is also tasked to make sure that the National Sports Associations (NSA) will be able to implement the training plans and also make sure that all the needs of the athletes will be taken cared of.
Fernandez said that he does not know yet the number of athletes who will be going to Vietnam as they will be meeting by the end of the month yet, but he said that it will be leaner than the 2019 Philippine delegation which was more than a thousand.
While the 30th SEA Games had 56 sports, host country Vietnam only approved 40.
Should there be no vaccine yet by June, Fernandez said that it will be a big problem but they will be talking to the medical experts on how they will go about solving the problem. One of the things they will be looking at is bubble training but Fernandez said that they will cross the bridge when they get there.
The Philippines had ruled the 30th edition of the regional games with 149 gold medals, 117 silver, and 121 bronze medals.
Trailing at second was Vietnam with a medal tally of 97-85-104 and Thailand with 92-103-122. /rcg
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