MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) needs to have an official building to call its own, and POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino is taking the first steps towards making this happen.
Tolentino revealed that the POC has not had an official headquarters since it was established in 1911.
At the present, the organization's office is located at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig, which it shares with the Department of Education. Previously, the POC was based at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex together with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
"We're not informal settlers, pero nakikitira lang po kami," Tolentino admitted. "'Di ko po alam kung anong nangyari. Nakikitira lang po ang POC."
"Baka po sa buong mundo or sa Asia, ang Philippines (lang) po walang permanent office building," he added. "In my term, sana ma-adhika naman natin na magkaroon ng permanent office building (ang POC). That's one of my major dreams and agenda in my four-year term in the POC."
Tolentino wants a building that can house the POC offices, a board room, and possibly a museum that will trace the rich history of Philippine sports and the POC as well, from the time it was created 110 years ago when it carried the name Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF).
However, Tolentino admits that finding a suitable place is a difficult endeavor given the cost of real estate in Metro Manila nowadays. Nonetheless, he hopes that they can make a deal for the building to be located within the grounds of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
"Sa CCP meron pa diyan. Ano ba naman 'yung 1,000 square meters ang ibigay ninyo. Kami na sa POC ang magpapagawa ng building diyan. May space pa doon sa Coconut Palace or sa (Manila) Film Center," he suggested.
"Para naman may disenteng mukha ang POC. And at the same time, awareness din sa public," he added.
The creation of the POC office building is just one of Tolentino's goals for his four-year term as the organization's president, after his re-election late last year. They also hope to finally deliver the country's first gold medal in the Olympics, with Tolentino pinning his hopes on the athletes who will compete in Tokyo from July to August.