The Philippine hosting of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 has steamed people in social media this weekend after the transportation and hotel accommodation arrangement of Century Park Hotel Manila with several foreign teams turned into a mess.
As one of the organizer’s partner hotels, Century Park gave its side of the story on their official Facebook account late Sunday, November 24, noting that the late coordination was the reason why the Cambodia U23 team for men’s football had to wait for available rooms for hours.
“We were told that team members from Cambodia were coming in early on November 23, 2019 the night before,” Century Park stated.
“As much as we wanted to accommodate the request, it was not possible due to full occupancy. Standard check out is until 12:00NN. However, as early as 8:25am, some members were given an early check-in due to availability of rooms.”
The Cambodia football team had said that their players had wasted almost half a day at a hotel conference room, waiting for their rooms to be ready.
“It wasn’t ideal. We had to wait maybe like 8 or 9 hours to get [to] our hotel. But things happen,” said Felix Dalmas, coach of the Cambodia football men’s team.
“As goodwill, we offered our function rooms to serve as their temporary holding area after their breakfast. We asked them if they needed more chairs but they declined, preferring the floors so they could lie down to rest. Lunch was also served to them accordingly,” said Century Park.
Besides that, Century Park had already coordinated with the organizers as well to address the complaints on the meals served to the Thailand team.
On November 24, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) had issued an apology to the affected teams “for the inconvenience caused to them by the confusion regarding their transportation and hotel arrangements.”
Meanwhile, Velizar Popov, Myanmar football team coach, hopes that after all the mishaps, SEA Games 2019 organizers would do better upon arrival of other teams.
Moreover, Dalmas said that “it’s time to move on and focus on the soccer,” when asked about their 8-9 hours of waiting for the rooms.
Malacañang stated after that what’s “more important and more pressing is PHISGOC has committed to do better.”
“I am sure they will do better for the succeeding arrivals of the other countries, delegates, and athletes… You will learn from your mistakes,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“Rest assured that we continue to uphold our mission to provide a home away from home to all our guests. We will strive to make the SEA Games delegation’s stay a memorable one in the coming days.” said Century Park.