Senate okays P182M PSC budget
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  The Senate has approved the Philippine Sports Commission’s proposed 2014 budget amounting to P182.3 million, ensuring the national athletes’ unhampered training for various international competitions, including the Asian Games, and the continued staging of the agency’s grassroots programs.

The PSC’s share in the proposed P2.264-trillion general appropriation was placed in jeopardy in the previous Senate hearing after Sen. Pia Cayetano threatened either a “zero allotment” or a huge cut. 

Cayetano had slammed the PSC for its “inability to uphold the interest of Phl sports,” taking it to task for the snub of “deserving” swimmer Denjylie Cordero and the dragon boat team in the Southeast Asian Games delegation.

“I was happy to hear that it was approved. At least now, our grassroots programs will continue and employees felt relieved because there was a point in time we might have a zero budget. Pero hindi naman nangyari yun at pasalamat kami sa mga senador na nag-approve ng budget (We’re thankful to senators who approved our budget and did not give us zero allocation),” said PSC chairman Richie Garcia.

The PSC uses its share from the general appropriations for grassroots programs like the Phl National Games and Batang Pinoy, and for its daily operations. 

The 2014 budget also earmarks P30 million for the Philippine team’s campaign in next year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.

The P30-million allotment might not be enough for the actual trip of the Pinoy bets and Garcia said the PSC would likely augment the war chest from its National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), the coffers for athletes culled from remittances from state-run casinos.

Such scenario is happening in this year’s Southeast Asian Games in Myamnar, where the PSC is expecting to shell out P45 million for the stint of 210 athletes, 81 coaches and officials, 17 headquarters officials and 15 medical personnel. Only P30 million from the 2013 GAA was set aside for the SEAG.

“It is for this reason that this year, we were emphatic on the selection process. We only send qualified athletes who have a chance of winning because our budget was only P30 million and even with this lean delegation, we expect about P45 million, so abono kami ng P15-million (we have to fill up the remaining P15-million from another source),” said Garcia.

The PSC chair, however, stressed that this amount is cheaper than the P85-million the agency spent in the 2011 SEA Games.

ASIAN GAMES DENJYLIE CORDERO GARCIA MILLION NATIONAL SPORTS DEVELOPMENT FUND PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION PHL NATIONAL GAMES AND BATANG PINOY PIA CAYETANO PSC SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES
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