MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) needs a bigger budget in order to provide for the needs of Filipino athletes and improve the now-subpar training facilities in the country, its chairman Richie Garcia said.
“We have money, yes, but kulang,” Garcia said last week on SCOOP Sa Kamayan On Air, as quoted by PhilBoxing. “Hindi sapat sa pangangailangan ng ating mga atleta, lalo na sa kanilang preparasyon sa international competitions.”
Garcia said the PSC receives an annual budget of around P700 million to P800 million, but this is not enough to build a new sports stadium and finance the training of national athletes.
“To build a new stadium, however, as well as providing our athletes adequate international standard training equipment to prepare them for international competitions, we need more money,” he said.
“The results of the just-concluded SEA (Southeast Asian) Games once again showed the insufficient training of our athletes due to a lack of training center equipped with modern equipment as well as the superiority of our peers from our neighboring countries, who have been provided with modern facilities that we unfortunately lack,” Garcia pointed out.
The Philippines had its worst-ever showing in the recent SEA Games in Myanmar, finishing in seventh with only 29 gold medals.
“That is why we will be appealing to our lawmakers for an increase on financial requirements when the hearing for next year’s budget is conducted,” Garcia said.
Garcia also lamented the state of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, calling it “antiquated” and “polluted.”
“Maraming temptation na nagiging distraction sa training ng atleta,” he revealed. “Marami na akong nakikitang atleta natin na galing sa probinsya na isang linggo pa lang sa Rizal, inuubo at sinisipon na.”
“We also have apprehended several athletes engaging in drugs even while inside the complex. Kaya hindi na talaga dapat tirahan, and much more, (use as a) venue for training,” he added.
Garcia noted that neighboring countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore “already have international standard venues, while the Philippines… has none.”