Cash-strapped Team PH ready for major events in ’21 | Inquirer Sports

Cash-strapped Team PH ready for major events in ’21

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:01 AM October 06, 2020

Team Philippines will have a very busy schedule with six international multievents lined up next year.

Apart from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, Filipino athletes are expected to bring their act to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok and the Asian Youth Games in Shantou, China.

“Our goal is to send a competitive team in these tournaments as long as the requirements are within the budget,’’ Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino said.

That budget will be a thorny issue.

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The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which is the main source of funds for national athletes, will be hamstrung by cash shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to PSC executive director Guillermo Iroy, the Department of Budget and Management has already earmarked P207 million for the PSC next year, but the budget will only cover the operation expenses of the agency.

Money for the athletes comes from the National Sports Development Fund, which siphons off a percentage from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) earnings. But Pagcor’s cash lifeline are casinos, whose incomes have taken a massive hit due to shuttered activity because of the pandemic.

“Priority will be given to the Olympics and the SEA Games next year,’’ said Iroy, adding that PSC Chair William Ramirez will present the dilemma of the agency in the budget hearing at the House of Representatives on Tuesday. INQ

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