THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, has a timely but urgent message to all national sports associations in the year about to end.
Shape up or ship out.
Speaking at the special yearend edition of the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Thursday, Ramirez called on the top officials of several under-performing NSAs to deliver or lose financial assistance from the government sports agency next year.
“We are spending billions of pesos of people’s money to support our national athletes through the various programs of the national sports associations. The PSC, the government and the people are expecting and demanding good performances from them,” said Ramirez during the weekly public service program sponsored by the PSC, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
Ramirez admitted that hard-earned people’s money is being spent every year for the national athletes — more than P400-million in 2016, P618-million in 2017, P615-m in 2018, P1.2 billion for the SEA Games and preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in 2019 and P306-million in 2020.
“The government under President Duterte has really invested a lot on our national athletes. We are not a rich country, but malaki na din ang nagastos natin para sa elite athletes program kaya umaasa tayo na masusuklian ito ng magandang performances ng ating mga athletes starting in the Tokyo Olympics,” explained Ramirez.
A former educator from Davao City, Ramirez said the PSC has already identified the non-perfoming NSAs, including those with still unliquidated expenses.
“Hindi muna namin papangalanan ang mga nasabing NSAs to give them more time to settle their obligations. But starting next year, magugulat kayo. The PSC Board has already decided not to give financial assistance, especially if they continue to under-perform at may mga unliquidated expenses pa,” Ramirez told TOPS editors, reporters and photographers during the online session.
“We have to do it because we have an obligation to the people. We are not a private organization na ang pananagutan lang ay sa Board of Trustees lamang. Mananagot kami sa bayan.”
Ramirez cited the example of Australia, England and Latin American countries.
“Sa kanila, bago ka mang-hingi ng funding sa government, you have to set a meeting and presentation and convince the government that you are worth funding because of results and performances,” explained Ramirez.
Ramirez, however, reiterated that outstanding national athletes will continue to get financial assistance regardless of the performances of their respective NSAs.
“Hindi naman kasalanan ng mga atleta kung may problema ang NSA nila. Hindi maapektuhan ang tulong at suporta ng PSC sa mga atleta sa susunod na taon. Yun financial assistance direct to the athletes na.”
“Maglalagay kami ng PSC Disbursing Officer para sa bawat alis ng mga atleta, training or competition abroad man, liquidated na agad pagbalik nila,” added Ramirez.