SPECKS OF LIFE: POC, NSAS must liquidate taxpayers’ money

PSC chair Butch Ramirez is very correct.

The Philippine Olympic Committee and the National Sports Associations under its umbrella must first liquidate the money the PSC has given them before they are again given subsidies for their athletic programs.

Millions of taxpayers’ money are annually sourced from the PSC by the NSAs to fund the preparation and training of their respective athletes who take part in Olympic-sanctioned international competitions such as the SEAG, Asian Games and the Summer Olympics.

This is aside from participation in smaller sporting events seen to be required as integral part of their training regimen in various parts of the world.

If you know how to compute, you can guess how much of taxpayers’ money is spent on our national athletes every year.

Not very recently, PSC Com. Ramon Fernandez and POC President Jose “Peping’ Cojuangco angrily tangled in a verbal clash, unleashing accusations against each other.

These feuds are not new. They have been every now and then happening since as far back as I can remember. That’s about more than 35 years of covering Philippine sports.

One issue that Ramirez is raising against the POC is the huge number that will compose the national delegation to the SEAG in Malaysia.

The POC wants something like 530 players to take part but Ramirez says it is too large considering that the Philippines is not even aiming to finish in the top three.

If you don’t know it yet, the POC and the NSAs under it have mastered the tendency of bloating the composition of their respective delegations so that they could bring “freeloaders” with them – yayas, the missus, daughters and sons who would assume positions as chaperones, asst. coaches kuno, etc.

Ramirez wants to ensure that only athletes who have very good chances of winning at least a bronze are entitled to go. You see, most athletes become tourists after getting eliminated in the first round or preliminaries.

POC bigwigs are only confident to finish fifth among the eleven nations taking part in this biennial event.

Fifth? Oh, my, how lowly have we descended!

And yet the POC and the NSAs keep on asking for MORE MONEY!

This is completely outrageous.

Vietnam used to hug one of the bottom rungs but has now emerged as title contenders. Even the tiny city-state of Singapore is blowing past us. We are eating dust in the SEAG. Whew!

Ramirez should find able backing from the sports press corps covering the PSC-POC because they know the latter has been very abusive through the years.

Cojuangco, at 81 or so, has been at the POC helm for four consecutive terms but Philippine sports remains at the doldrums. We are scratching our heads why he cannot give up the POC throne to younger and more progressive-minded sports leaders.

If Ramirez will stand his ground, he might be able to effectively institute a disciplinary attitude in the sports community that Pres. Digong is imbibing among the people.

There is too much wanton spending in Philippine sports that remains un-reciprocated by its beneficiaries and recipients. Competent and effective leadership within the POC and the NSAs are not visibly seen.

As caretaker of the peoples’ money, it is incumbent upon Ramirez to make sure the ROIs are worth it.

This is not to undermine the silver medal triumph of Hidilyn Diaz. On the contrary, her Olympic feat highlights our collective desires. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!

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