Butch’s numbers; Jason’s joy
It appears that the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee are on the same page when it comes to providing ample funds for the national sports associations (NSAs) that train our athletes.
Though not Bobbsey twins like their predecessors, PSC Chair Butch Ramirez and POC president Ricky Vargas seem to share the same thought regarding an old practice:
Why not attract corporate sponsors to bankroll NSAs of their choice?
The group of businessman Manny V. Pangilinan helps boxing and basketball, among others. Cebuana Lhuillier props up softball and athletics gets a big lift from Ayala Corporation.
“Let’s revive… getting one benefactor, whether corporate or individual, to bankroll a sport each,” said Vargas recently.
Such pronouncement is music to the ears of Ramirez, who has the enviable task of getting the NSAs limited funds every year.
Ramirez told me the NSAs’ 2018 allocation is P650 million, P50 million less than the total last year from Congress through the General Appropriations Act and from the Philippine Gaming Corporation’s share via the National Sports Development Fund.
“We encourage them (NSAs) to secure additional funding because government funds are not enough,” said Ramirez.
He said for the past 28 years the PSC had been receiving a paltry annual budget from Congress of P250 million, more or less. Pagcor, on the other hand, shells out only 2.5 percent instead of the 5 percent share as clearly mandated by law (Republic Act 6847).
Ramirez also shared several “positive” developments at the PSC, including the hiring of 60 sports coordinators for the country’s grassroots sports program.
He said quality canteens are opening June 1 at Philsports and the Baguio Teachers Camp training centers, supervised by executive chefs and four nutritionists to cater to athletes and coaches.
And by the end of next month, athletes will get brand new sports equipment for high performance training, he added.
Filipino Australian golfer Jason Day is joyful and appears back in the swing of things.
Day, whose Visayan mom Dening guided his success in the game, came through with a second win of the season by ruling the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Sunday.
His first PGA tour victory came in January with another cliffhanger at the Farmers’ Insurance Open at Torrey Pines outside San Diego.
He banked on his booming drives and putting touch to close with a 2-under par 69, two clear of rookie Aaron Wise and Nick Watney and other close pursuers that included the legendary Phil Mickelson.
Day, who has 12 PGA Tour titles altogether, told a CBS Sports interviewer he “had no idea where the ball was going off the tee, but my short game stood the test.”
Jason admits he is nowhere close to putting it all together as he looks forward to The Players’ Championship, the PGA’s flagship event this weekend at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Punta Verde Beach Florida.
Day had five wins, including his first major, to emerge as the world’s No. 1 player in 2015.
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