2019 SEA Games cauldron (File photo)

MANILA – Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano said the construction of the PHP50-million cauldron used during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games was funded by the private sector.

In a media interview over the weekend, Cayetano said the government did not “spend a single cent” for the construction of the multimillion peso cauldron, which drew controversy for being overpriced.

“People will be surprised because the government didn’t spend a single cent on it. Because the private sector paid for it,” he said.

Cayetano, who was chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) in 2019, said the cauldron was much cheaper than the ones used in the previous editions of the SEA Games.

The cauldron was designed by the late National Artist for Architecture Francisco Mañosa, who is regarded as one of the most influential Filipino architects of the 20th century.

He noted that the corruption claims about the cauldron caused sponsors to withdraw funding for the 2019 SEA Games.

“Much more would have been paid by the private sector kung ‘di nagkaroon ng crab mentality at siniraan. Kasi marami kaming sponsors na umatras (Much more would have been paid by the private sector if only the crab mentality and mudslinging of some had not prevailed. A lot of sponsors pulled out their commitments.),” he said.

Olympic Council of Asia Vice President Wei Jizhong praised the organizers and President Rodrigo Duterte for the successful hosting of the SEA Games, adding that the country is prepared to host larger sporting events. (PNA)