PSC explains delay in athletes’ allowances

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    THE Philippine Sports Commission was scheduled to release yesterday the allowances of athletes who have qualified and are bidding to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July, according to PSC national training director Marc Velasco.

    Velasco, also the Philippine Sports Institute executive director, said the stipends covers 80 athletes from 18 sports currently training for the Tokyo Summer Games or for their respective Olympic qualifiers.

    He said what caused the delay was the regular annual review conducted by the PSC on the performances of athletes and coaches in the national pool, which is usually disbanded at the end of each year.

    Depending on the recommendations of their respective National Sports Associations and the assessment of the PSC, they are either reinstated while the others are dropped from the national pool.

    The PSC gave the NSAs late January as the deadline to submit their budget for 2021 and their list of athletes, but not all of them were able to complete their requirements on time, Velasco noted.

    He said exempted from the policy were the Olympic aspirants so their bid to make it to the Tokyo Olympics would not be disrupted.

    He said there were some NSAs that have yet to liquidate the financial support the PSC gave them, and that Chairman Butch Ramirez had repeatedly warned these delinquent associations to clear their books with the government sports agency or else no further funds would be released to them.

    Velasco added the delay was also caused by the limited personnel allowed at the PSC administration building due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium inside the RMSC were converted into quarantine facilities last year at the height of the virus crisis, and Ramirez recently requested the Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of the situation to take back control of them by April 1.