ATHLETES WELFARE. National athletes do a President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature fist salute with government officials in an event in Malacañang last year. Duterte’s former top aide and now Senator Bong Go called on the Philippine Sports Commission to hasten the release of the athlete’s allowance. (File photo)
MANILA – Senator Bong Go urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to speed up the release of the allowances of the national athletes amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Go, chairman of the Senate committee on sports, made his call after he received queries from some national athletes who have yet to receive allowances since June.
“Ngayon ay Agosto na. Tinatawagan ko ng pansin ang pamunuan ng PSC kung maaaring tingnan ang reklamong ito. Ayusin ang dapat ayusin at ibigay ang dapat ibigay (It is already August. I am calling the attention of the PSC leadership to take a look at these complaints. They should fix what needs to be fixed and give what needs to be given),” Go said on Saturday night. “We are in the middle of a pandemic and everyone is having difficulty. Our athletes and coaches who bring honor to our country are no exception.”
While he understands the PSC’s financial status, Go hopes that the agency should still provide the athletes the allowances without delay.
“Bilang [chairman] ng Senate Committee on Sports, magtulungan tayo para sa kapakanan ng ating mga atletang nangangailangan ngayon (As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, we should work together for the welfare of our athletes who are in need right now),” he said.
In response, the PSC said on Sunday that the delay in the release of allowances is due to “the overhaul of our payroll administration system.”
The agency’s statement added, “This was a painful but necessary action to ensure that no underhanded schemes are ever done in this service aspect again.”
The major makeover within the PSC’s payroll system was a result of the revelation about a corrupt practice by one of its employees last month that “rocked [the agency] to its core.”
The PSC then made a commitment that the allowances “will be released by early this week,” even citing Executive Director Guillermo Iroy saying that it may be done by Monday.
However, Iroy clarified that the PSC has to scrutinize everything first this time.
“We had to go through the details one by one to check,” Iroy said. (PNA)