By ANNIE ABAD
THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has expressed its concern over the delay on the mediation process to resolve dispute between Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena and his mother association — The Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA).
PSC Chairmam William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said that both parties had failed to return the signatures Mediation Submission Agreement which was transmitted by PSC last November 25.
“Again, my role is to facilitate communication between the parties, not to decide who is right or wrong. Mediation is the best option for now so the parties can reconcile, open communication lines and continue the work that needs to be done. The parties owe it to the government and the Filipino people to resolve the issues amicably. A failed mediation will be detrimental to both parties,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez claimed that the dispute has caught the attention of the international sports community and the misimpression is putting Philippine sports in a bad light.
“As an elder of the Philippine sports community, I am asking them to submit to mediation for their mutual benefit,” Ramirez said, adding that as the Chairman of the sports agency, he is duty-bound to explore ways to help resolve the issue.
The PSC admitted that the dispute must be resolve internally within the bounds of PATAFA and World Athletics, but notwithstanding, the PSC vows to help the parties reach a settlement agreement while protecting government interest.
In a special board last week, the PSC Board agreed to set December 15 as a target date by which time all parties are expected to have submitted to the proposed mediation.
In relation to this, the PSC board reiterated its position in upholding the implementation of the ‘NO LIQUIDATION, NO FUNDING’ policy. Said guideline was put in place during this administration to aid the swifter liquidation of problematic accounts. It has so far resulted to an estimated 80% decline in unliquidated financial assistances to NSAs.
The agency reminds all NSAs to strictly comply with the COA Rules to liquidate the financial assistance or any funding received from the PSC within sixty (60) days from completion of the project as required under COA Circular 2007-001 dated October 25, 2007.