Fernandez says PSC will call on politicians, private sector to augment budget

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2020 05:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will be asking for help from its "good friends" in the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as from the private sector, to augment its budget -- especially for the Olympic-bound athletes.

This, according to officer-in-charge Ramon Fernandez.

"Our good friends from PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation), and Cong. Bambol (Abraham Tolentino), Speaker Alan (Peter Cayetano), Secretary (Salvador) Medialdea… Senator Bong Go is very supportive of athletes," Fernandez said in a recent online interview.

"In fact, he mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he would like to make sure that our qualifiers for the Olympics are supported. So we will be calling on them," Fernandez confirmed.

The PSC recently announced that it was slashing the allowances received by national athletes and coaches by 50%, as the remittances they received from PAGCOR dwindled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez previously revealed that they only received P9 million from PAGCOR in May, as gaming operations were shut down because of the health crisis.

The agency also cancelled its events until the end of the year, as most of its budget was realigned in order to help the government in the fight against COVID-19.

"Ginamit ni Presidente, priority natin ngayon to combat COVID-19," Fernandez noted. "So that's one agenda that we have to talk (about)."

"We might have to knock on the doors of our friends in the private sector," he said. "Marami naman diyan ang tumutulong talaga sa atin."

"That's one major concern also now -- the financial requirements, to continue with the training of our athletes."

The PSC had assured that the athletes and coaches allowances will be given in full once PAGCOR remittances return to their usual rates. 

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).