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Athletics to receive biggest PSC support

MANILA, Philippines — As the perennial source of medals in the Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine track and field team is bound to receive the biggest support from the Philippine Sports Commission beginning next year.

PSC chairman William Ramirez said from now on, financial support from the PSC will be based on performance in the international arena, including the SEA Games.

Track and field president Philip Juico welcomed the new policy but said there are other factors that have to be considered.

Performance of the different NSAs, according to the former PSC chairman, depends on a lot of things.

“Yes, NSA budget should be dependent on performance,” Juico said as the PSC continues to discuss with the close to 50 national sports associations their respective budget proposals for 2018.

“But that metric must be qualified to state that NSA performance is also dependent on the amount, quality and timeliness of financial and facilities support (from the PSC),” he said.

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Failure of some NSAs to deliver, Juico explained, may be caused by lack of support from the PSC or the delay in providing the basic needs of the athletes – from their daily nutrition, including vitamins, and acceptable conditions in their living quarters to training requirements like uniforms, equipment and adequate facilities, and foreign exposure.

“It’s the overall environment of professionalism, sobriety and predictability and consistency of policies,” Juico said.

The term of PSC chairman is co-terminus with the President’s, and with every change in administration, a new PSC chairman and a set of four commissioners come in.

Policies change in the blink of an eye, and a policy that’s good and effective in the eyes of an outgoing chairman may not be as attractive to the new chairman.

It’s the NSAs, the athletes in particular, who suffer in this environment or lack of continuity of a sound program.

Ramirez said performing NSAs will receive bigger support from the PSC starting next year but made it clear that the government agency will continue to feed even those who could not deliver.

Athletics should be on top of the list because in the SEA Games, it’s been the biggest source of medals for the Philippines.

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