Cong. Tolentino to lobby return of slashed 2020 PSC budget
Mark Escarlote on Jun 22, 2020 03:57 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Philippine Olympic Committee president and congressman Bambol Tolentino will lobby in the House of Representatives the return of the funds slashed from the national sports agency brought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Philippine Sports Commission was among the government agencies instructed by the Department of Budget and Management to slice its 2020 budget by more than half. The PSC returned P700 million out of its P900 million budget to be used in the fight against the deadly virus.
PSC’s other source of fund was also severely hit by the health crisis with the dwindling remittance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation as most of the country put under community quarantine, forcing the agency to do belt-tightening measures including slashing the national athletes’ allowances in half.
Tolentino told reporters on Monday via Zoom press conference that PAGCOR has resumed its remittance.
“Nag-remit na ang PAGCOR ulit. I don’t know kung mako-cover na ‘yung portion ng month na nabawasan na ang allowances,” he said.
However, anticipating that the remittance won’t be enough, Tolentino announced that he will lobby in Congress the return of the diverted PSC budget.
“Pero kung ‘di man ma-cover (ng PAGCOR remittance), my announcement is, not as POC president, but as a member of the House of representative, we will try to give back the amount that was taken from the PSC national development fund na ibinalik sa national treasury for the COVID-19 use. Amounting to P700 million,” said the representative of the eighth district of Cavite.
Athletes are set to have their allowances cut in half starting July.
“So kung ‘yun lang ang kailangan para maibalik o ma-sustain ang mawawala we will try in the House of Representatives I will lobby for it. We will try to return it in this coming second Bayanihan extension act to return the amount given to the national treasury because of the COVID-19,” said Tolentino. “Para lang ‘wag mabasawan o maibalik, para lang complete ang allowances again ng mga athletes.”
The lawmaker added the athletes who brought honor and pride to the country including copping the overall championship in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in the country deserve to receive full financial support from the government even amid this crisis.
“Ang point ko rito kasi baka di alam ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte na tinamaan ‘yung mga national athletes, ‘yung mga allowances. Baka kapag nalaman niya, ‘Huh? After giving pride and glory being overall champion sa SEA Games tapos tatamaan din sila, yung mga frontliners natin sa sports,’” he said.
“Pipilitin naming ibalik ang amount na ‘yun,” added Tolentino.
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