PSC clarifies issue: freezing of allowances is yearly routine for proper ‘reassessment, auditing’
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Friday sought to calm escalating concerns from two Olympic-bound boxers regarding their allowances, clarifying that the disruption in the release of their monthly stipends was part of the agency’s “regular accounting and auditing rules” and routine reevaluation of national athletes.
“It took a while to go through the reassessment of our more than 1,300-strong national team,” said PSC chair Butch Ramirez in a statement. “We have to also follow requirements and policies since we are using government funds, but it is now done and subsequent processes have been started.”
The PSC traditionally halts allowances at the start of the year as national sports associations (NSA) prepare fresh endorsements for athletes, who undergo training evaluations. National athletes are given monthly stipends whose amounts depend on whether they are ranked Class A, B or C by the NSAs.
“Per policy, allowances are subsequently cut, but the agency retained the allowances of Olympic-bound sports since they continued their training,” said the PSC in a statement.
So while the rest of the national athletes had their allowances frozen, the Olympic-bound athletes continued receiving stipends until January, when the PSC began its evaluation and reassessment phase. The PSC is also currently awaiting the submission of required documents from NSA for auditing purposes after which, all national athletes will receive their allowances retroactive to February.
Tokyo Olympian Irish Magno bemoaned the nonrelease of allowances for two months, saying in a post it was difficult to focus on training while being concerned about her family back home who “almost have nothing to eat.”
Magno, who is with the national boxing team in Thailand for training, later took down the Facebook post, claiming everything had been sorted out. But fellow Olympian Eumir Felix Marcial, who is training in the United States under Freddie Roach at Wild Card gym, said the prized female boxer was forced to delete the post.
Marcial also chimed in on the complaint, hinting at unidentified officials being remiss with their support for national athletes.
“Last year they were asking me what I needed here [in the United States], I told them what I needed but until now I have received nothing,” said Marcial in his own post written in Filipino. “And now we lost our salaries. It’s demoralizing.”
The Alliances of Boxing Association of the Philippines said it had been extending financial assistance to the boxers up until the week Magno posted her controversial FB status.