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GAB clarifies financial aid for boxers come from Singwangcha

THE Games and Amusements Board (GAB) clarified recently that the P3,000 monthly allowances for former Pinoy world champion – in four boxing organizations (WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF) – was coming from the pocket of Thai philanthropist and boxing promoter Naris Singwangcha and not a government funded policy.

GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra immediately made the clarification after several professional boxers were allegedly sought the help of eight-division world champion Senator Manny Pacquiao to force the agency to release ‘pension’ fund.

“First, GAB has no policy with regards on boxers’ pension. What we have right now is a trust fund. Gusto namin magkaroon ng pension, but this was not included in our approved budget from the General Appropriation (GA),” said Mitra.

“Para po sa kaalaman ng lahat, yung pagkakaroon po ng pension ang matagal na naming nais ipatupad sa GAB, ngunit, hindi po ito maaprubahan sa ating budget. Kami po ay nagpapasalamat ay may isang pilantropo na mula pa sa ibang bansa ang kumilala sa ating liderato at naglaan ng tulong pinansiyal sa ating mga dating kampeon,” he added.

Mitra claimed that Mr. Singwangcha, through the help of Pinoy boxing promoter Brico Sandig of Highland Boxing, gave out former champions a P3,000 monthly aid which was started in May 2018 after a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by GAB and Singwangcha through Singwangcha Foundation.

Under the MOA, active world champion such Manny Pacquaio, Jerwin Ancajas and Donnie Nietes were excluded. From 39 names under the GAB official record, only 25 managed to receive the monthy pension of P3,000. GAB regularly released the said amount from the beneficiaries until it stopped last year due to pandemic.

“Naipamahagi na lahat at umabot lamang hanggang Setyembre ng 2020 yung pondong ibinigay ng Mr. Singwangcha. Pero, bago pa po ito naubos sumulat na ang GAB kay Mr. Singwangcha hingil dito. Hanggang nitong Febrero ng 2021 ay nagpadala na po ulit ng isang comprehensibong sulat ang GAB, subalit wala pong pondo ang naipadala ang Foundation,” said Mitra, a former Palawan Governor and Congressman.

“Nitong March 3, 2021 sumulat po si Mr. Singwangcha at sa pamamagitan ni Mr. Brico Santig at sinabing hindi na muna maipagpapatuloy ang MOA dahil sa kasalukuyang pandemya. Sinabi rin ni Mr. Singwangcha na pipiliting makapagpadala sa huling pagkakataon, ngunit wala pa po kaming natatanggap sa GAB,” Mitra said.

“Hindi po interesado ang sinuman sa GAB sa pondong pinapadala ni Mr. Singwangcha. At kung meron mang pondo ay binibigay ito sa ating mga kampeon. INUULIT PO namin na ang buong GAB at ang pamunuan nito ay WALANG DAHILAN PARA PAG-INTERESAN ang pondong dapat ay para sa ating mga Kampeon. Makakaasa po kayo dito,” stated in the GAB official statement regarding the issue.

Former champion who were the beneficiaries of the Singwangcha Foundation included Hall of Famer Erbito Salavarria, Luisito ‘Lindol’ Espinosa, Rolando Navarette, Morris East, Tacy Macalos, Rolando Bohol, Rennie Barrientos, Penalosa brothers Gerry at Dodie Boy, IBF World Flyweight champion Tacy Macalos, IBF World Minimumweight tilist Eric Chavez and WBA World Flyweight Joma Gamboa.

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