PSC appeals to local gov’ts for funding
Ramon Fernandez, the chief of mission in the coming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, is making an appeal to local governments all over the country for the sake of Team Philippines’ defense of the overall title.
With the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) finding it improbable to fund the training of the PH contingent to the Vietnam edition later this year, the affable basketball legend and PSC commissioner has sounded the alarm to the direction of local governments for them to show support and prove that sports can unify a nation.
“This is a test to prove that sports can be a unifying force,’’ said Fernandez during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday. “If we put all the athletes from the 39 sports in a bubble, it will be impossible for the PSC to accommodate all the expenses.”
As the sports-funding agency, the PSC has allotted P200 million for the SEA Games on Nov. 21-Dec. 2, half of which will be earmarked for the training of athletes.
Fernandez, however, explained that the allocated funds won’t be enough as evidenced by the bubble training of boxing, taekwondo and karatedo at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna province, where the PSC shelled out P21 million for just 45 days.
“So I’m appealing to our friends in the local government units to help our national athletes as they prepare to compete in the SEA Games. This is the time where teamwork is really needed,’’ added Fernandez, the head of the SEAG Task Force made up of top PSC and Philippine Olympic Committee officials.
And adopting athletes won’t come cheap for the local governments, with Fernandez saying that they would be the ones to take care of the billeting of the athletes as well as food and local transportation together with the usage of their sports facilities.
Several sports have already partnered with a handful of local governments, with fencing (Ormoc City), archery (Dumaguete City), weightlifting (Zamboanga City, Cebu, Bohol), muay (Baguio City) and kickboxing (Benguet), among them.
A total of 626 athletes would need to train inside a secure environment at least three months prior to the Games. INQ
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