POC wants permanent home after first Olympic gold
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino got piqued when the Cultural Center of the Philippines refused to accommodate the Olympic buildup of Team Philippines to the Tokyo Olympics.
That unexpected rejection to set up a nerve center for the Olympic team prior to the just-concluded Games has motivated Tolentino to finally put up a permanent building for the local Olympic body even more.
“After winning the first Olympic gold medal after 97 years, it’s sad that the POC remains an informal settler without its own building,” said Tolentino during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday.
“Putting up a permanent office for the POC will now be No. 1 in my bucket list,” added the Cavite representative.
Tolentino has become extra driven to fulfill that elusive dream after the CCP turned down his request for a war room inside the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in February.
“We just requested for an office where we can set up a nerve center before the Olympics. It’s not even for free because we’re going to pay for it. Our request got denied,” said Tolentino.
He explained it would have been a great help for the Team Philippine campaign had CCP allowed them to use its facility at the PICC.
“Good thing we are used to making sacrifices. We were forced to hold our meetings for the Olympic preparations at coffee shops and restaurants because our office has been closed due to the (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Tolentino.
“Now that we’ve won medals in the Olympics, including our first gold, and gave honor to our country, they could probably consider us,” added Tolentino.
The POC, which holds its offices inside the Philsports Complex in Pasig City, has been exploring the possibility of putting up a permanent building inside the sprawling CCP Complex in Manila with the help of President Duterte.
“Our goal is to have a permanent office building during the administration of our dear President,” said Tolentino.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.