Strict budget allocation hindered funds for Martinez
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Sunday said that the allocation of the national budget was what prevented the Philippine government from providing funds for figure skater Michael Christian Martinez who represented the country in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communication Operations Office said in a radio interview that the priority of the government is to improve the livelihoods of the marginalized members of the society.
He added that what was left of the budget allocated to athletics is for sports, which President Benigno Aquino III believes Filipinos have the “competitive edge.”
“Ever since, the President believed that the government should focus to sports where Filipinos have a competitive edge,” Coloma said in Filipino. “These are the sports where the Philippines can compete for a medal spot.”
The secretary, however, said that the government can ask the private sector to continue the help it gives to some national sports teams.
“So I see that helping each other is the solution here,” Coloma said. “If we unite and give help to exceptional athletes like Martinez, and others, surely they can achieve their goals in their fields.”