State-run Philippine News Agency says ‘Best Organizer’ story came from PHISGOC’s PR

December 6, 2019 - 2:23 PM
Alan Peter Cayetano as PHISGOC chair
Organizing Committee Chairperson Alan Peter Cayetano explains SEA Games 2019’s theme “We Win as One” at the unveiling of the countdown clock for the games' preparations on Dec. 1, 2018. (PIA 3/Cherie Joyce V. Flores)

State-run Philippine News Agency defended itself over allegations that it was behind the report about the alleged award the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee received.

Previous reports, including that by the PNA, noted that Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia, introduced as an award platform for sports business, recognized PHISGOC as “the Best Southeast Asian Games Organizer” at an award-giving ceremony last December 3.

After the news on the award came out on December 4, social media became suspicious of it given that no other host country was nominated.

In its statement, the PNA specifically tagged the account of Esquire Philippines which reported that the government-backed agency first carried the news. It was later picked up by several news organizations.

The PNA said the article was based on a press release from PHISGOC. It also attached a screenshot of the email sent to one of their editors.

“We would like to clarify that the story titled ‘Asian award ‘body hails PHISGOC as ‘best SEAG organizer’ posted on our website on Dec. 4 was based on PHISGOC press release,” the agency said on Twitter.

The PNA article titled “Asian award body hails PHISGOC as ‘best SEAG organizer’” which was posted on December 4 had been deleted on its website, but the press release attributed to the committee remains published.

This press release was also used by Fox Sports Asia, DZRH News and Tempo on their respective articles.

PHISGOC, by virtue of Memorandum Circular 56, is the only committee or team mandated to lead the 4th time hosting of the international sports event this year.

Interaksyon also previously did a quick search on SPIA’s website and found that this award was not listed on their award categories.

READ: PHISGOC-backed awards body named PHISGOC ‘best SEA Games organizer’?

Moreover, the awards ceremony itself was supported by the PHIGSOC and similarly “endorsed and supported” by the Tourism Promotions Board, a government body attached to the Department of Tourism.

Not officially recognized, just cited

PHISGOC Chairperson Alan Peter Cayetano, speaker of the House of Representatives, also stated on his account that SPIA CEO Eric Gottschalk “awarded” this year’s biennial meet as the “best organizer.”

“Thank you Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia for awarding the 30th South East Asian Games as the best SEAG organizer,” part of his post read. Cayetano also shared photos and a video of it online.

Thank you Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia for awarding the 30th South East Asian Games as the best SEAG organizer….

Posted by Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

However, in the video, the SPIA did not officially give out any “Best SEA Games Organizer” accolade that evening.

Rather, Cayetano was handed a trophy that recognized his contributions to the sports industry in the Philippines.

It was Gottschalk who commented that the country’s hosting this year was “the best” given the number of gold medals Filipino athletes have already won.

“There’s a staggering 57 sports, which are 20 sports more than in any of the 29 editions before. When I heard the latest numbers this evening, there were already 47 gold medals awarded to the Philippines. These are by far, the best Southeast Asian Games so far ever,” Gottschalk said.

SPIA ASIA 2019: Recognition for sports personalities of the Year and Recognizing PHISGOC for its Outstanding Achievements in Organizing the best SEA Games Thank you Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia for awarding the 30th South East Asian Games as the best SEAG organizer. The awarding was held during the SPIA conference held on December 3 at Grand Hyatt Manila. Speaker Cayetano was joined by CEO of SPIA Eric Gottschalk, Rep. Abraham Tolentino (POC Chair), PHISGOC COO Ramon Suzara, International Football Legend Ronaldo Nazario and USA Track and Field Olympian Dr. Edwin Moses. The SPIA Asia Awards is one of the very prestigious awards platform in Asia, focused on recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the Asian Sports Industry.Again Special Thanks to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for giving the go signal and making The Philippines Hosting of D 30th SEA Games Possible. Thank You PSC, POC and everyone who worked and is working to make this the biggest and best hosted SEA Games ever. GOD Bless The Philippines! #WeWinAsOne #2019SEAGames #PHforOne

Posted by Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday, December 3, 2019


As of publication, the Philippines still has the most medals at 153 and 69 of these are gold.

Check out the updated SEA Games tally on