Ramirez seeks more PSC funding

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    WITH several international competitions lined up next year, including the Tokyo Olympics and Tokyo Para Games, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez will seek additional funding for the agency when he appears in a virtual hearing before the Senate today.

    PSC acting executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr. yesterday said the Department of Budget and Management has allotted P207 million for the government sports agency in the 2021 General Appropriations Act.

    Iroy said this allocation merely covers the PSC’s maintenance and operating expenses, including the salaries of its regular employees.

    Even with the Batang Pinoy National Games and Philippine National Games deferred to 2022, the PSC still would run short of money if it intends to support the national athletes for overseas meets, among them the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand, according to Iroy.

    There was also the matter of funding the country’s Olympic hopefuls when the Olympic qualifiers resume next year for the rescheduled Tokyo Games, he stressed.

    “We will also have the Asean Para Games as well so the money will not be enough based on the present P207 million budget earmarked for the PSC in the GAA,” noted Iroy, adding that stipends of athletes and coaches in the national pool alone needed an additional P500 million in funds.

    Iroy said his personal estimate was “the PSC would need around P1.2 billion more or less to fund the requirements of our international commitments as well as the allowances of our national athletes and coaches.”

    He said the main source of this financial support is the National Sports Development Fund being drawn from the monthly remittances of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to the PSC.