By Kristel Satumbaga
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Youth and Sports Development has promised to help Tokyo Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls after the Philippine Sports Commission sought for financial help.
In a meeting led by Committee Head Representative Eric Martinez, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez shared the agency’s need for financial assistance after their budget was trimmed down due to the pandemic.
“We were one of those government offices who also contributed to the Bayanihan Act,” Ramirez said.
“The Department of Budget and Management deducted from us. Para sa amin, malaking bagay yun kasi kasama doon yung Olympic budget namin. Hanggang ngayon bakante yan. It’s an opportunity for us to ask, we need help.”
In a statement, Martinez said they are doing their best to get the athletes’ funding and that they have to discuss this first with the DBM “as soon as possible”.
“Rest assured that we will do our part to get the funding for this Olympics. All hands are in. Dapat lahat tayo dito. This is the best chance we have,” Martinez said.
Ramirez said Philippines’ chief of mission Nonong Araneta has already presented a budget of more than P182 million for Tokyo-bound athletes and hopefuls to PSC.
“Rep. Bambol Tolentino has initially supported yung P180 million na allowances ng atleta which was approved by the bicam, and to be approved by the President. Thank you sa lahat ng congressman na sumuporta. Pero ‘yung Olympic budget namin, we are hoping again for your support,” Ramirez said.
The PSC’s budget was cut by P596 million from the National Sports Development Fund and another P773 million from the General Appropriations Act by the DBM, to aid the country’s fight to the pandemic.
PSC National Training Director Marc Velasco reported that the PSC is already preparing health protocols and identifying a minimum of six multipurpose venues for this planned training resumption. Velasco shared that Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) President Vince Dizon also offered to cover the RT-PCR testing of the athletes.