PSC vows full support to Team PHI all the way to Tokyo Olympics
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 18, 2020 06:39 PM
The Philippine Sports Commission assures Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, male artistic gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo, national boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno that the agency will continue to give them its full support.
Aspiring and Olympic-bound athletes will continue to receive support from the Philippine Sports Commission despite the agency’s belt-tightening measures brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Philippines already has four qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been pushed back to next year, in pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, male artistic gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo, national boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno before the lockdown.
The PSC board has assured that the agency will support them for as long as they can, explaining that the investment of both the government and the athletes into their Olympic dream cannot be set aside just that easily.
This the PSC assures the athletes despite around P1.3 billion of its funds redirected back to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fund the country’s COVID-19 fight.
By virtue of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, P596 million, and P773 million were realigned by the DBM from the sports agency’s National Sports Development Fund and the fund from the General Appropriations Act (GAA), respectively.
Even with this unexpected development, the PSC will keep true to its promise to support the Filipino athletes Olympic bid.
In fact, PSC Chairman William Ramirez is hoping to send more athletes to represent the country in the prestigious multi-sport event.
“We will not waiver in our quest to fulfill the country’s Olympic dream and we are very hopeful that more athletes will be able to qualify once the situation gets better,” shared Ramirez.
The sports agency is banking its hopes on 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, four-time SEA Games champion Kiyomi Watanabe of judo, 2019 SEAG double-gold medal winner Margielyn Didal of skateboarding, multi-titled jin Pauline Lopez of taekwondo, and Junna Tsukii of karatedo among others.
The budget cut has forced the sports agency to take belt-tightening measures in recent weeks, to be able to cover all commitments.
“It’s a tough situation but we understand the priorities of the national government. We will do what we can to continue the support we give to our athletes especially those vying for an Olympic slot,” added Ramirez.
Aside from financial support, the PSC also continues to provide online sports psychology consultations, virtual training sessions, nutrition, physiology, and conditioning webinars to athletes and coaches through PSC’s Medical Scientific Athletic Services (MSAS) and the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI).