Irate Pia threatens to cut PSC budget

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Sports Commission’s budget for 2014 faces rough times at the Senate as the chamber deferred consideration of its share in the proposed general appropriations with Sen. Pia Cayetano even threatening “zero allocation” due to what she cited as “its inability to uphold the interest of Philippine sports.”

Cayetano took the PSC to task for “failing to supervise National Sports Associations (NSAs) that have prevented some of the country’s outstanding athletes from competing in the coming Southeast Asian Games” and moved to withhold the chamber’s deliberations of the PSC’s proposed P182.3 million budget for 2014. The motion was subsequently adopted by the plenary.

The lady solon-sports woman said she’s considering a “zero budget” for the PSC and the possible filing of administrative charges against PSC officials for their alleged inaction in the cases of swimmer Denjylie Cordero and members of Philippine Dragon Boat Team, who she said should have gone to the Myanmar meet but couldn’t do so because of “differences with  their respective NSAs.”

“These two incidents clearly tell us that PSC, under our current laws, is not doing its job. Yes, I can amend the law, and I will do that. I will strip PSC of so many of its powers. But for this budget, I am torn between asking the body to defer the budget while I think about a zero budget. In conscience, I have a difficulty recommending a zero budget because at the end of the day, it’s the athletes who will suffer,” Cayetano said in her interpellation of Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, who is sponsoring the PSC budget.

“I ask that this budget be deferred while I am making up my mind, and it will include the filing of cases against officials who are not doing their job. This is clearly neglect and abuse of authority: When we can look away and just hide behind the cloak by saying that these NSAs are separate entities. So that is my motion, Mr. President, that we defer the budget for now, as I hope the body, along with me, will try to decide if this agency deserves a budget,” she added.

She said Cordero, who broke the 10-year-old Phl women’s 50-meter breaststroke record in the last UAAP, is a silver or gold medal potential but is not in the roster because of “difference between her father and the head of the swimming association.”

“I want to hear from PSC: How in the world did personal differences… become the basis for not including a swimmer, who has the potential of winning the gold, in the lineup?” asked Cayetano.

She said this is also true with the dragon boat rowers, winners of six golds and a silver in the world championships last year, but were dropped after a falling-out with their coach. 

“Pang-world champion tayo pero hindi tayo pang-Southeast Asian Games, bakit? Because the coach of the dragon boat team decides that the whole team is unfit? Or has committed certain violations that are unacceptable so she disbanded the whole team?” she said.

The sad thing, Cayetano claimed, is that “PSC and POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) won’t do anything about it.”

The PSC had maintained that it has no power over the NSAs, which has sole discretion in endorsing athletes to the SEA Games.

But Cayetano rebuffed this explanation, citing Section 11 of Republic Act No. 6847 (The Philippine Sports Commission Act) which enumerates the PSC’s powers over the NSAs.

“Para saan pa itong Section 11 on powers of the commission to exercise supervisory and visitorial powers of the NSA. What do we do with this provision if they will just tell us that they cannot do anything?” she said. “I mean, think about it: I can imagine if the NSA suspended just one member, two members, even the team captain, but to suspend the whole team? What did you [PSC] do to exercise your supervisory and visitorial powers? What did you do? Please tell me how that was exercised?”












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