PSC appointees still paperless | Inquirer Sports
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PSC appointees still paperless

A BASKETBALL legend and a veteran sportswriter in the country’s policy making body for sports development.
It’s a stroke of genius because both understand athletes.

Four-time PBA MVP Ramon Fernandez and former Sun Star Davao sports editor Charles Maxey, along with tested sports bureaucrats Arnold Agustin and Dr. Celia Kiram, are raring to hit the ground running as new commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission.

But their enthusiasm is being curbed temporarily by appointment papers yet to be signed and their swearing in still to happen before PSC Chair Butch Ramirez, who’s been formally installed.

Nevertheless, the presence of Fernandez and Maxey in the PSC board bodes well for athletes in the national pool and those aspiring to get there.

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The PSC, also the funding agency for sports, has come up with a bright idea under Ramirez to move the mountain to Muhammad.

Ramirez, previously PSC Chair during Gloria Arroyo’s presidency, wants to set up training satellite stations around the country and revive the Philippine Sports Institute—moves going down well with the four new commissioners especially Fernandez and Maxey.

Under the PSC’s new setup, Fernandez will handle PSC business in the Visayas, and Maxey in Mindanao.

The new commissioners are yet to get their sports assignments, although Fernandez says the boss is urging him to handle team sports and the Philippine National Games. The PNG is an annual multi-sports event to test the worthiness of elite athletes drawing handsome monthly stipends from the government.

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“If I have my way, I’d like to tackle boxing, too,” says Fernandez, whose territory is the cradle of boxing champions.

Maxey will focus on new editions of the Mindanao Friendship Games and Sports for Peace, two regional programs during Ramirez’ first stint as PSC chief.

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That said, Maxey believes PSC officials will have to roam the country to seek new talent in the grassroots, while seeking more corporate support for sports.

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Funds for PH’s official Olympic delegation to Rio de Janeiro will come from a P9 million pot from the national budget through the old PSC board.

Chief of mission Joey Romasanta projects a team of 30—13 athletes and a staff of 17.

“It’s a bare bones contingent,” says the Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president and spokesperson. “There won’t be sports tourists on my watch.”

The team still appears to have more chiefs than braves, but Romasanta clarifies that the “essential” officials include himself, two administrative aides, a team doctor-therapist, a press officer and a security officer—both required by Brazil’s Olympic organizers—a coach for two boxers, a caddy each for two golfers and mentors for the remaining athletes.

As of this writing, the POC counts the following athletes as official Rio Olympians: boxers Roger Ladon and Charly Suarez, tracksters Eric Cray, Marestella Torres-Sunang and marathoner Mary Joy Tabal; table tennis champ Ian Lariba; weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia; and taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora.

Awaiting the final Olympic list of 60 qualified golfers are Miguel Tabuena in 37th place and Angelo Que (55th). Also standing by for certification by their world federation are swimmers Jasmine Alkaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna.

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The International Olympic Committee will spring for POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. and secretary general Steve Hontiveros’ presence in Rio, according to Romasanta.

TAGS: Olympic, PSC, Rio, sports development

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