by Nick Giongco
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) advised the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) that if it doesn’t want the PSC to interfere in its affairs, then it should find ways to raise its own funds to finance its foreign campaigns.
PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez took issue with the stand of POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. who said the other day that the PSC has no business training elite athletes and meddling in the activities of the POC. He also said that the PSC’s mandate is only for helping promote the country’s grassroots sports development program.
This announcement did not sit well with Ramirez who has been charting the PSC’s own sports program to help the Philippines rise from its current woeful place in Southeast Asian sports.
“They want us not to meddle? Then, they have to stop asking us for money,” Ramirez said when asked for comment yesterday.
Ramirez said part of his role as chairman is to know where the PSC money is spent, saying it is the people’s money.
“We can’t just give out money without knowing how it was spent. Remember, this is taxpayers’ money and the public has the right to know how these NSAs (national sports associations) spent it.”
Ramirez said the PSC’s plan to provide some NSAs training choices is proof that the government wants to maximize the funds being given to athletes.
Citing the leadership troubles that have become common the past decade, Ramirez says the PSC will think twice before giving financial support to NSAs which have liquidation and leadership problems.
“Giving funds to NSAs is not automatic. We can decide not to provide if we see that that NSA doesn’t deserve to be given because their leaders are not performing their duties. Getting funding is not a right but a privilege,” said Ramirez.
Under the law it is the PSC that spends for the training and travel of athletes bound for competition but Ramirez maintains that the agency has the option not to.