THE Philippine Sports Commission is seeking an additional P1.1 billion in the 2021 national budget to complete the repairs of its facilities and fund the country’s several international commitments, including the Tokyo Olympic Games, Tokyo World Para Games and Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, next year.
“PSC chairman Butch Ramirez and commissioner Ramon Fernandez were at the plenary of the House or Representatives yesterday (Wednesday) to present the additional P1.1 billion because of the several international competitions we will be having next year,” said acting PSC executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy yesterday.
“I was told by chairman Butch that Philippine Olympic Committee president and Tagaytay Congressman Bambol Tolentino and Rep. Eric Martinez, who is back as the chairman of the Youth and Sports Development Committee, endorsed the PSC’s appeal for more funding,” Iroy said.
In a separate interview, Fernandez said “the congressmen present during the plenary meeting, led by new Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, were receptive to our request of additional funding once we explained where the money was going.”
He noted that the P596 million meant for the repairs of PSC-administered facilities such as the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and the Philsports Complex in Pasig City was taken back by the government and included in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act 1 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other P500 million was given to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee for the broadcast fee of the 30th SEA Games last December, Fernandez said.
Fernandez and Iroy said the additional funds are on top of the P237 million the Department of Budget and Management has allotted for the government sports agency’s management and operation expenses in the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
Aside from Olympic Games and World Paralympic Games in Tokyo and the Vietnam SEA Games in Hanoi in 2021, there are other international competitions the country was committed to see action in, according to Iroy.
“We also have the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand, the Asian Beach Games, ASEAN Youth Games and the ASEAN Para Games where our national athletes will be competing,” he said.
The agency’s financial support usually comes from the monthly remittances of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. But with gambling operations closed for several months due to the government-enforced lockdown in mid-March due to the COVID-19 crisis, PAGCOR’S monthly remittances, which averaged around P100 to P130 million monthly, has been drastically reduced, Iroy said.
With the reopening of Philippine offshore gaming operations, Iroy said that PAGCOR remitted 25 million last August.