MANILA — The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will hold a dialogue with various government agencies to strengthen the country’s grassroots sports program.
PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said the “serious strategic planning” scheduled first week of October will involve the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH) and the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP).
“This is a very serious strategic planning. We will follow this pathway of grassroots program — from BatangPinoy, PalarongPambansa to ASEAN sports and Asian sports. We will support those outstanding athletes of BatangPinoy and PalarongPambansa because from these tournaments, will come our future national athletes,” Ramirez said in a press conference held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Ramirez also clarified that while the PSC will focus its attention on grassroots program, the support for elite athletes remains with funds coming from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
The PSC has a PHP600 million budget for 2018 and Ramirez said, “we will not hesitate to spend more to put up a strong pool of grassroots athletes.”
“But I am expecting from our partners in the national sports association must participate in a very serious genuine, effective strategic planning after the grassroots,” he added.
“Make it or break it because the funding from the government to the private sector is not a right. It is a privilege,” said Ramirez.
Meanwhile, Ramirez has announced that President Duterte, through Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, will award cash incentives to the medalists in the just-concluded Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The incentives are PHP1 million (gold), PHP500,000 (silver) and PHP200,000 (bronze).
Under Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, Asian Games medalists will receive PHP2 million (gold), PHP1 million (silver) and PHP400,000 (bronze).
Aside from the government incentives, the medalists will also get cash prizes from the Philippine Olympic Committee and the SiklabAtletaPilipinas Sports Foundation headed by businessman Dennis Uy.
The POC incentives are PHP2 million (gold), PHP500,000 (silver) and PHP300,000 (bronze), while SiklabAtleta will award PHP1 million (gold), PHP500,000 (silver) and PHP250,000 (bronze).
Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia, Lee Hiong Wee, also promised to give PHP1 million to the gold medalist.
Filipino-Japanese golfer Yuka Saso, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and skateboarder MargielynDidal will receive PHP7 million each, while Saso will get another PHP2.3 million from her share in the team gold with Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go.
In the same press conference, Ramirez has announced the PSC’s partnership with the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, which is organizing the National Collegiate Championship basketball tournament. (PNA)