FACING a gargantuan task financing the Filipino athletes preparation for two major international competitions next year, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Noli Eala on Thursday presented to National Sports Associations (NSA) the agency’s current budget status.
Eala said that the agency tried to request additional budget somewhere around P5.2 billion during budget deliberation in Congress as he presented the expenses of the country’s preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and Asian Games in China but to no avail.
The original budget proposal submitted by his predecessor was P218 million, but the Department of Budget (DBM) was reportedly earmarked P235M.
“We showed them (NSAs) that this is the only amount we can give them,” Eala said during the media briefing at the break of the PSC’s consultative meeting with NSAs heads at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Hosting a consultative meeting for the first time since officially appointed PSC Chairman two months ago, Eala also appealed for help, understanding and mutual respect for the growth of Philippine Sports.
“This consultative meeting is just a start of our continuous coordination and working with the NSAs. We assured them that we will respect their autonomy. However, it must be a responsible autonomy. We also stressed the importance of mutual respect,” stressed Eala.
“The most important component of our program is “family.” I believe that there is no grassroots program that can be successful without the component of family. Kung supportive ang pamilya, our athletes can also achieve success.
Out of 73 regular NSAs affiliated with the Philippine Olympic Committee attended the meeting led by POC president and cycling chief Bambol Tolentino. Also present and gave some insights and explanations about the flow of documents particularly on liquidation report were Atty. Kenneth Joy Quimio of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Jeorge Lozano of the Commission on Audit and PSC Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr.
Eala stressed the importance of liquidation as he appealed to sports officials to be responsible in handling the public money entrusted by the government to fund their respective programs.
“Liquidation is the PSC’s perennial problem,” said Eala, referring to almost P200 million unliquidated expenses incurred during the past administrations.
“We were just following what our Senators told us during the budget hearing. To care of every peso we get and account them well.
“This is our only way we can address the concerns of the PSC. As I’ve mentioned in my speech this morning, we will respect their autonomy but let’s describe it as responsible autonomy wherein they are not going to be interfered with in terms of program and ability to run their NSAs, but at the same time, they have duties to respect the fact that public funds are being used for sports programs,” added Eala.