MANILA, Philippines - Tournament managers in the Palarong Pambansa were up in arms against the Department of Education’s decision to cut their salary by more than two-thirds of the original amount given to them the past editions.
Five technical heads, all tapped from the national sports associations to provide their expertise in the weeklong event for elementary and high school students that concluded last week in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, were reportedly paid P4,500 instead of P15,000 given in the past years.
Chess’ tournament director Gene Poliarco said he didn’t take the P4,500 after he was informed of the salary changes two days before the meet ended while athletics’ Claro Pellosis said it was the lowest honorarium he received in more than three decades of serving as technical official of the event.
“Hindi ko tinanggap (I didn’t take it),” said Poliarco, who has been handling chess in the Palaro the last three years.
“Ang sentiment ko dapat umpisa pa lang sinabi na ganito lang ibibigay. Lokohan na ‘yan (The point is they should have told us how much they would pay us from the start. They’re making a fool out of us),” he added.
“It’s the first time that this has happened,” said Pellosis.
The protesting officials brought their complaints to the DepEd’s office in Pasig yesterday but to no avail.
For swimming director Richard Luna, the decision to cut the salary for their services is unfair to officials who worked hard despite the searing summer heat.
“They should pity the technical officials who fulfilled their duties especially those who worked out there under the scorching heat,” said Luna.
Billiards’ Bong Ilagan was the first to air the complaint over the salary cut as early as last week.