MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has formalized the accreditation of the Philippine Electronic Sports Organization (PESO) as the official National Sports Association for esports in the Philippines.
In a certificate issued on Oct. 9, the POC declared PESO as an associate member, recognizing it as the NSA for esports.
Signed by POC Secretary General Atty. Edwin B. Gastanes, the certificate also bears the names of PESO officials serving a term of two years from their election last February 2019: Brian Benjamin Lim, President; Eric Redulfin, Vice President; Jess Tamboboy, Secretary General; and Michael Gatchalian, Corporate Secretary.
"We are honored and grateful for the trust that the POC placed in us. We embrace this huge responsibility as we continue to support our athletes and push the growth and development of Esports in the country," said Lim.
"We also echo POC's call for unity among esports groups and communities as we all share the same goal to showcase the skills and abilities of Filipino gamers in the world arena and ultimately bring glory to our country," he added.
PESO's member-organizations pushed for and supported the successful debut of esports as a medal event in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year. PESO members worked as the National Technical Officials (NTOs) of the tournament, and were involved in co-producing and streaming the event for participating countries.
PESO members also provided the coaching and management staff for Team Sibol, the Philippine National Esports Team.
The POC's certificate of PESO came a month after a group headed by Ramon Suzara, who was the chief of the organizing committee of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, questioned its legitimacy and called on the POC to reconsider the accreditation.
Suzara's group, the National Electronic Sports Federation of the Philippines (NESFP), wanted the POC to wait until the International Olympic Committee recognized an international federation for esports.
According to PESO, the group is a member in good standing of the International Esports Federation (IESF), the world's oldest and largest esports organization with 82 members from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Of these members, 36 are already accepted by their respective National Olympic Committees.
Last March, IESF and Asian Esports Federation (AESF) signed a milestone agreement to promote and advance esports globally, and across the Asian continent.
Under the agreement, the IESF recognizes the AESF as the sole federation for esports in Asia, while the AESF recognizes IESF as the sole federation for esports on the international level.
According to an official release by the IESF about the landmark event, the agreement also "unites in one umbrella all member associations and federations, thereby confirming a clear and transparent structure of esports globally."
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) recognize both the IESF and the AESF as the sport federation for esports.