PSC eyes to improve plight of local coaches


    THE Philippine Sports Commission is eyeing to raise the allowances of local coaches significantly to make them at par with what foreign mentors hired by the agency are receiving, according to PSC chairman Butch Ramirez.

    “For our top local coaches we are willing to raise their allowances to as high as $2,000 dollars (roughly P102,000) a month,” Ramirez said the other day during a meeting with national team chief of mission Mariano Araneta Jr. and officials of National Sports Associations whose athletes are bidding to qualify to the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

    He said that to merit this allowance “we are encouraging them to work full-time with their athletes,” adding that out of 400 coaches in the national pool, 58 are considered Class A and getting a monthly stipend of P60,000 each.

    “We are trying to elevate the dignity of our coaches, but remember they have to meet certain qualifications. If that is the only path to raise their level of coaching, then we will do it,” Ramirez said. “Since our coaches are former athletes, we also want them to be academically equipped because coaching (is also) a teaching job. We want them as well to read books and videos to improve their coaching skills.”

    Ramirez’s vision for these mentors is for them to have better verbal and written communication skills. “They should know how to speak and write so when they go to international competitions they can conduct themselves properly,” he said.

    Ramirez said that he and his four commissioners would review the allowance scheme of the national coaches in the first quarter before making any decisions about the raise in their stipends.

    Ramirez also announced that “a few months from now, in partnership with the United States Sports Academy, we will be conducting high-level coaching workshops and clinics for our national coaches to improve their coaching (skills).”

    He also disclosed that the government sports agency will hold a sports summit late next month involving all the stakeholders of local sports at the Philippine International Convention Center.

    “The purpose of this sports summit is to review our present sports history, how far we’ve gone and where we are headed,” said Ramirez, who is hoping that programs of the collegiate leagues such as the NCAA, UAAP and SCUAA would be aligned with that of the PSC.

    The PSC will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a simple mass at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum this morning.

    “We purposely wanted to make the celebration simple so whatever we can save on the celebration we can donate to the evacuees of the Taal Volcano eruption,” said PSC national training director Marc Velasco.

    The PSC was created by Republic Act 9846 way back in 1990 under the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino to act as the government arm in promoting  nationwide  grassroots sports development as well providing support for athletes competing in international competitions.