MANILA – The House of Representatives Committee on Youth and Sports Development assured the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) of its support as the latter is batting for more funds for the Tokyo Olympic bid of the national athletes.
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez and chef de mission Nonong Araneta attended the committee meeting on Wednesday to request for a PHP182-million fund for the national athletes.
Ramirez said the proposal was made to compensate for the money the PSC had to give up for its contribution in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019.
“We were one of those government offices who also contributed to the Bayanihan [to Heal as One] Act. The DBM (Department of Budget and Management) deducted from us. Para sa amin malaking bagay ‘yun kasi kasama doon ‘yung Olympic budget namin. Hanggang ngayon po bakante ‘yan (For us, it is a big thing because our Olympic budget was included there. It’s an opportunity for us to ask. We need your help,” said Ramirez.
Rep. Eric Martinez, chairman of the committee, replied: “Rest assured that we will do our part to get the funding for this Olympics. All hands are in. Dapat lahat tayo dito (We should be all in here). This is the best chance we have.”
Rep. Bambol Tolentino, also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, has already pledged PHP180 million to the Philippine team’s Tokyo Olympic campaign and is now awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Araneta said a total of 86 athletes, 65 in the Philippines and 21 others abroad, are training for their Olympic bid.
This includes the four Filipinos who already qualified for the Olympics, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.
National training head Marc Velasco proposed at least six venues for the resumption of the national athletes’ training.
“We are working with POC and the NSA’s (national sports associations) which would endorse athletes that are going to qualify and will be the only ones allowed to enter the PhilSports. We would also have support staff, who will also undergo safety protocols like the testing, to assist. They will be inside the PhilSports where we also have adequate medical and health facilities,” said Velasco. (PNA)