‘Pinoy Olympians still heroes despite poor show’

Despite crashing out of their respective events in the recently capped Beijing Olympics, athletes who represented the Philippines to the world’s biggest sporting event should still be hailed heroes. “Mahirap na talagang mag-qualify palang sa olympics, imagine you have to be in the top 60 or even top 30 in the world in your sport? Hindi madali yun, so d’un palang dapat hanggaan na nating mga atleta natin,” said chairman William “Butch” Ramirez of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

He also said he is not blaming anyone on the performances of the 15-man contingent. Rather, he said the responsibility is his alone amid claims and reports that lack of funding hampered the athletes’ efforts to win the country’s first Olympic gold medal.

“I am not blaming anyone, I take full responsibility for what happened. But really, if we get to fund the training of the athletes better, expose them to more competition and training overseas, we will have a better chance,” said Ramirez.

However, the PSC chief said at the very least, the money meant for athletes’ training should not be denied them because this is mandated by law.

Ramirez was referring to Republic Act 6847, which created the PSC in 1990. Under the law, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) is mandated to give the PSC five percent of its gross income. This should translate to around P1 billion a year.

“Under the law it is clear that the Pagcor should remit five percent of its gross income to the PSC, but in their computation, they take away 50 percent for the national government and others, and then that’s where they get our five percent, so in reality we only get around 2.5 percent,” he said.

Ramirez, meanwhile, welcomed the Senate’s call to investigate the funding of the sporting associations to see if they are indeed lacking in finances.

Also on Wednesday, Bacolod City Rep. Monico Puentevella, the Philippine chef de mission to the Olympics, gave a privilege speech before the House of Representatives amid criticisms of the Filipino athletes’ poor showing in Beijing.

” ‘Pag natalo gusto ng lahat may imbestigahan. Sino’ng imbestigahan, ang mga atleta? Gusto ba ng mga atletang matalo,” the congressman said. Puentevella is an official of the Philippine Amateur Weightlifting Association and first vice-president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

He said that whichever way one looks at it, the central issue has always been funding or the lack of it.

“We have 40 [National Sports Associations] coming from the same cake and wanting an equal share of the same cake,” he said.

He said that unless the Philippines becomes at par with other countries in terms of training, support and funding, Filipinos might as well kiss away their hopes of seeing another Olympic medal won by the country’s athletes. With a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

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  1. ‘Pinoy Olympians still heroes despite poor show’…

    “Despite crashing out of their respective events in the recently capped Beijing Olympics, athletes who represented the Philippines to the world’s biggest sporting event should still be hailed heroes. “Mahirap na talagang mag-qualify palang sa olym…

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