CANVASSING OF VOTES. Senate President Vicente Sotto III bangs the gavel with House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to officially kick off the joint session of Congress for the canvassing of votes at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Tuesday (May 24, 2022). The Senate and the House of Representatives convened as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to do the actual count of votes cast for president and vice president during the May 9 polls. (MNS photo)

MANILA, May 25 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang has congratulated Team Philippines for its fourth-place finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Hanoi, Vietnam held on May 12 to 23.

“Mabuhay ang galing ng atletang Pinoy sa Hanoi. Nakapag-uwi po ang ating mga pambansang atleta ng 52 gold medals, 70 silver medals at 107 bronze medals sa pagtatapos ng Southeast Asian Games sa Vietnam. Pang-apat po ang Pilipinas sa labing-isang kalahok na bansa (Long live our Filipino athletes in Hanoi. Our national athletes took home 52 gold medals, 70 silver medals and 107 bronze medals at the end of the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam. The Philippines is fourth out of the eleven participating countries),” acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a Palace press briefing on Wednesday.

“Maraming-maraming salamat po sa karangalang ibinigay ninyo sa Pilipinas (Thank you very much for the honor you have given to the Philippines),” he added.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) initially projected a third-place finish.

However, PSC William “Butch” Ramirez said there was nothing to be ashamed of the Philippine contingent’s showing despite it being a far cry from its 149-gold haul when it hosted the biennial meet in 2019.

“Our performance in bringing home 52 gold, 70 silver, and 104 bronze medals in placing fourth overall in the medal standings was a good finish despite the various challenges our national athletes had to face amid the Covid-19 pandemic before competing in Vietnam,” Ramirez said.

According to Ramirez, funding training programs to develop elite athletes for international competition was expensive.

“You need money for coaches, both local and foreign, airfare, transportation, and hotel for international exposure to season them, plus the logistical support like proper nutrition, sports psychology, and medicine for athletes discovered abroad or locally,” he added.

He said the Philippine Sports Institute needs adequate government funds to pursue its goals of updating the country’s know-how in sports medicine and technology, including the improved sports rehabilitation facilities, in keeping abreast with the rest of the world.

Vietnam, the overall champion, tallied 446 medals highlighted by 205 gold, 125 silver, and 116 bronze medals.

Thailand came in second with 92 gold, 103 silver, and 136 bronze while Indonesia placed third with 69 gold, 91 silver, and 81 bronze. (MNS)

READ NEXT: Monkeypox may enter PH via travel — expert