POC prepares for future
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2017 - 12:22am

MANILA, Philippines - POC first vice president Joey Romasanta said the other day an unfunded, volunteer group called the Junior Council made up of “new faces” is leading the way towards a more active and participative General Assembly with the view of preparing for major events up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Romasanta said POC president Jose Cojuangco, Jr. is excited to get the “New Generation” more involved in the organization’s affairs and has encouraged the young leaders to speak their mind in laying the direction for the future.

“It’s nothing fixed,” said Romasanta. “But the POC is short-handed and the Junior Council will be a big help. For instance, Bob Bachmann of squash and Jonne Go of canoe-kayak are looking into NSA affairs with the focus of coordinating with the PSC. That means going over requests for financial assistance and reviewing the liquidation process. If there are disallowed receipts, they’ll try to find out how to resolve issues and expedite. Since the Junior Council is composed of volunteers, it is strictly a recommendatory group.”

Romasanta said Ada Milby of rugby and Princess Jacel Kiram-Hasan of pencak silat will coordinate in monitoring the performance of NSAs using an information retrieval template. Peter Cayco of volleyball will be on top of legal matters and planning. A Martial Arts Council will be headed by Rep. Monsour del Rosario of taekwondo and Raymond Reyes of karate. Romasanta said the Martial Arts Council will prioritize medal-rich combat sports where athletes could be developed to excel. 

“The Junior Council will also set up a speakers bureau,” said Romasanta. “The POC is often requested by schools, socio-civic organizations, sports associations and others to talk about Olympism and sports as a source of national pride. I was recently the guest speaker at a DILG regional forum in Cebu. We’d like to train a pool of speakers so that we’re able to deploy our officers when invitations come. Robert Mananquil of billiards will be in charge of our media bureau because of his expertise in communication. Jeff Tamayo of soft tennis and Dave Carter of judo will be the advisers of the Junior Council.”

Romasanta said the POC’s plate is full and the Junior Council’s involvement is a big boost. Among the major international events coming up are the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 19-31, the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan on Sept. 17-27, the Asian Games in Indonesia on Aug. 18-Sept. 2, 2018, the third Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on Oct. 1-12, 2018, the SEA Games which the Philippines will host in 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Romasanta said the time gap between the SEA Games and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is only two weeks so the preparation will be parallel. The previous Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were held in Incheon in 2013 with China topping the standings with 29 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals. There were 12 sports in the calendar, including indoor kabaddi, short-course swimming, kurash, chess, muay and bowling. The Philippines collected a gold and two bronzes. Hitting paydirt was the dancesport pair of Jerald Gamili and Cherry Parcon in the Latin-jive event. Gamili and Parcon also bagged a bronze in the Latin-5 dances event. Rubilen Amit accounted for another bronze in the women’s 10-ball billiards singles.

This year, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will welcome 17 countries from Oceania and 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia. The competitions will be in 21 sports, including 3x3 basketball, futsal, indoor athletics, chess, cue sports, jiu-jitsu, powerlifting, sambo, track cycling, tennis and wrestling.

Romasanta said it’s critical to form the SEA Games Organizing Committee for 2019 as soon as possible. Last weekend, Cojuangco and PSC chairman Butch Ramirez met to discuss the composition of the committee whose chairman will likely be Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, representing President Duterte.

“Cong. Peping realizes the importance of forming the Organizing Committee early,” said Romasanta. “In fact, when he arrived from the US at 5 in the morning last week, he immediately called for a meeting and by 10, we were discussing the 2019 SEA Games. The Organizing Committee will be observing the 2017 SEA Games. We’d like to research how countries have bypassed others in improving their standing, how we measure up to the competition. When we host in 2019, we expect it to be pressure-laden because our countrymen won’t settle for anything lower than No. 1.”

Romasanta said when the Philippines hosts the 2019 SEA Games, women’s boxing and women’s weightlifting will be reinstated after they were scratched out of the calendar this year. Men’s boxing will also feature the lightweight and welterweight classes which were removed for the Kuala Lumpur event. “There are several categories of sports for the SEA Games,” said Romasanta. “Category 1 is for the compulsory Olympic sports of athletics and swimming. Category 2 is for sports in the Olympics and Asian Games. Category 3 is for other sports like arnis, vovinam, kenpo, petanque and netball. Then there are the uncategorized sports like roller sport, paragliding, chinlone, wall climbing and bridge. The reality is host countries reduce events where they are weak and add events where they could win medals. Host countries are allowed to introduce some indigenous sports because the SEA Games are not only about sports but also culture. That’s why when we hosted in 1991 and 2005, we had arnis. But it’s unfair for host countries to load up on events that are not played in other countries just so they can increase their medal haul.”


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with