(Fernandez with members of the PH E-sports team. Photo PSC)
HANOI – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is looking closely at the performance of national athletes in the 31st Vietnam Southeast Asian Games to decide what sports will merit its continued support moving forward, according to national team chef de mission Ramon Fernandez.
“We are closely evaluating the performance of our national athletes in the Vietnam SEA Games to determine what sports will continue to deserve our continued support,” said Fernandez Tuesday at the halfway point of the regional sports fest.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the government sports agency has been coping with scarce resources, so it is only fitting that they are used wisely for the National Sports Associations and their respective athletes,” the PSC commissioner pointed out.
Under the law creating the government sports agency, the PSC is largely dependent on the monthly remittances of the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp, which have been fluctuating since the pandemic struck the county in mid-March 2020.
“We are still under the pandemic so PAGCOR remittances to the PSC have not reached the previous peak levels we used to have before this virus crisis,” Fernandez said.
“However, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez and the rest of the PSC board have made it a point that needs of the NSAs and their athletes have been met, including international exposure, under the circumstances,” he added.
“This is why we have to look closely and evaluate the performance of our national athletes here so the board can act and budget accordingly based on our assessment,” Fernandez stressed.
For the country’s participation in the regional sports fest here, he said, the PSC spent P232 million in supporting the 980-strong Philippine contingent, including 641 athletes and 210 coaches in 38 sports.
The budget covers airfare, uniforms, equipment, hotel, and billeting plus allowances for the national team, among others. (EGR/AI/MTVN)