Thailand is expected to announce the postponement of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games’ (AIMAG) and so would Vietnam on Hanoi finally hosting the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Saturday.

“We are expecting both governments of Thailand and Vietnam to make the official announcements next week,” Tolentino said.

The sixth edition of the AIMAG, held once every four years, was originally scheduled for March 10 to 20 next year in Bangkok and Chonburi, but the Thai government, Tolentino said, opted to move the games back to 2023 because of health and safety considerations.

But Tolentino said the Hanoi 31st SEA Games will finally push although the Vietnamese organizers have yet to set specific.

“I believe it would be in the latter part of May 2022,” Tolentino said.

As such Tolentino said the additional budget amounting to P650 million that the House and Senate agreed to add to the Philippine Sports Commission’s coffers in 2022 would have to be reduced.

Tolentino wooed congressmen and senators for the additional budget from general appropriations to fund Filipino athletes’ preparation and participation in the Beijing Winter Olympics (P5 million, February 4 to 20), AIMAG (P150 million), The World Games (P10 million, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, July 7 to 22), Huangzhou Asian Games (P270 million, September 10 to 25) and Shantou Asian Youth Games (P15 million, December 20 to 28).

Tolentino also called for a additional P200 million for the SEA Games, where the Philippines is the defending overall champion.

“As I have committed in my manifestation during the budget hearing for the PSC, the budget for any of these games that will be canceled or postponed will have to be excluded or returned to the National Treasury,” Tolentino said.

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