Eala’s immediate plans: Fill board vacancies, maximize PSC law
Newly-appointed Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chair Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala felt satisfied with his first day at the helm of the government sports agency and though he spoke in broad terms of his plans, he did mention one thing specific that he hopes to complete soon.
“We need to fill the PSC board. We need the board complete and running so we can go about with our plans and programs for Philippine sports,” Eala told the Inquirer on Thursday.
Eala, a former Philippine Basketball Association commissioner, is the second member of the PSC board appointed. Bowling legend Bong Coo was the first PSC appointee by the Marcos administration, when she was named one of four commissioners of the board.
Eala said until he has a full board, it would be “premature to begin mapping out specific programs.”
But he began familiarizing himself with the agency to make sure he “will not come in blind” and on his first day, met with Coo, PSC Executive Director lawyer Guillermo Iroy Jr., Deputy Executive Director Merly Ibay and other top officers of the agency.
RA No. 6847
Eala also brushed up on the law that created the PSC, Republic Act (RA) No. 6847. Eala’s predecessor, William “Butch” Ramirez, had said there was a need to strengthen the law to make the PSC more relevant to the times. However, Eala said amendments to the PSC law are not that urgent as of now.
“The law is already good; what we need to do is make it work,” Eala said, explaining that there were underutilized provisions in the law that he plans to fully exploit.
An example: The PSC has regulatory powers over publicly funded stadium constructions and can ensure that these stadiums meet international standards.
“There have been instances when stadiums are being built and they don’t conform to international standards. These eventually end up being white elephants,” Eala said.
Eala will be following huge footsteps. Under Ramirez, the Philippines enjoyed its finest stretch in the international arena, highlighted by the country’s first Olympic gold medal. A vital ingredient in the string of successes? The forged alliance between the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
“The plan is to strengthen that alliance,” Eala said, adding he plans to reach out to POC chief Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
“We have made great strides in the last few years in sports. My new administration will seek to ensure sustainability of the success of our programs for the long term,” said Eala.
“We will continue with programs that will further strengthen our sports initiatives. We will create pathways for all to get involved in sports while ensuring that elite athletes are provided with all they need to be successful,” he added in the statement.