FACING budget constraints due to the pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission is taking a long, hard look at National Sports Associations it will support throughout the rest of the year.
A very reliable source yesterday said the board, led by Chairman William Ramirez, is looking at the possibility of funding only the NSAs that will field athletes to the 30th Vietnam Southeast Asian Games in November, on top of the campaigners seeing action in Olympic qualifiers.
The allowances of the Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls were scheduled for release last Wednesday, according to PSC national training director Marc Velasco.
Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino submitted a provisional list of 626 athletes in 39 sports during a personal visit to Ramirez last week.
The PSC is supposed to fund the training and participation of the athletes in the list.
The entries by list will submitted to the Vietnamese SEA Games organizers on March 23 while the final roster of the national delegation will be completed in September.
Making up the list are athletes in aquatics, athletics, archery, basketball, billiards and snooker, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, xianqi, a Chinese board game; cycling, dancesport, esports, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay thai, pencak silat, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon/duathlon, volleyball, beach volleyball, vovinam, a Vietnamese ethnic martial art; weightlifting, wrestling, and wushu.
“NSAs whose athletes are not in the SEA Games are still subject to evaluation because there are no major international competitions this year except the Olympics and SEA Games,” the source noted. “But the board has not decided yet.
“Those NSAs excluded from the SEA Games must justify why their athletes (and coaches) should not be dropped from the national pool.”
The same source said that spared from the PSC’s possible decision to withdraw support for sports not in the Vietnam Games are the athletes in arnis “as we promote it as our national sport and is part of the PSC’s program with our bilateral agreements and relations with other foreign countries.”
He noted that as early as last year, Ramirez had urged the NSAS to start looking for their own funds to sustain their athletes and programs because of the PSC’s present financial woes.