POC to hire impartial monitoring body
RIO DE JANEIRO—Hidilyn Diaz’s drought-snapping silver medal notwithstanding, the Philippine Olympic Committee is mulling a plan to hire an independent body to find out what needs to be done so the country can win more medals in international competitions like the Olympics.
The country’s chief of mission to the Summer Olympics here said it is imperative that the POC, as well as the national sports associations (NSAs), realize which sports—not just individual athletes—should be given more support and attention by the Philippine Sports Commission, which funds the training and overseas exposure of top athletes.
“Under the prevailing practice, the PSC gives priority treatment to athletes who win gold medals in the Asian and Southeast Asian Games or big international competitions,” said Joey Romasanta, who is also the first vice president of the POC.
“One of the independent body’s job will be to assess what we need to do and to monitor our plans. We need to organize our plans and strategies in a professional manner.”
Romasanta said it’s time the NSAs are monitored, their performances and prospects evaluated by an independent group of researchers.
A specific group at the University of the Philippines, which he declined to name because the POC has not finalized the plan yet, can do the job as efficiently as any international monitoring group, he said.
“There has to be changes in the way we approach international competitions like the Olympics.” said Romasanta. “There has to be a common plan after the conclusion of an independent study, to make sure that we have truly deserving athletes for the SEA Games or the Asian Games.”
He noted how the country’s 13 athletes fought in this Olympics despite great odds and wondered how the country might have performed if it sent a lot more athletes of their caliber in Rio de Janeiro.