POC president Ricky Vargas (center) with (from left) ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson, SBP vice chairman Robbie Puno, Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association president Karen Caballero and ABAP vice president Patrick Gregorio.

Transition team formed for POC
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Newly elected POC chairman Rep. Bambol Tolentino and POC president Ricky Vargas recently formed a five-man transition team to establish a working relationship with the previous administration before coming on board to take over the leadership of the private sports organization that accredits Filipino athletes to represent the country in international competitions such as the Olympics, Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.

Tolentino and Vargas co-signed a memo dated last Friday, addressed to POC secretary-general Steve Hontiveros, naming Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association president Karen Caballero, Philippine Football Federation secretary-general Edwin Gastanes, SBP legal counsel Aga Francisco, lawyer Arnold Corporal and MVP Sports Foundation finance officer Lean Aure to the transition team.

A meeting has been set at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the POC office, PhilSports complex, for the transition team to confer with the outgoing management “to ensure a smooth transition and turnover of records, files and properties … with no disbursements, other than for payroll and sundry expenses, (to be) made during the period of transition and that communications and correspondence from the POC (are to) be cleared with Tolentino and Vargas prior to release.”

Vargas said the transition team will focus on governance matters and issues related to athletes. “We’d like to set a baseline so we know what we have and what we don’t have, moving forward,” he said. “We’ll bring in an external auditor to look over the books so we know what we’re inheriting. Regarding athletes, the Asian Games are only six months away and the assumption is the NSAs are in the process of preparing for the competitions. We’ll also be looking at the Southeast Asian Games which we’ll host next year. We’ll reach out to the PSC and pay a courtesy call on chairman Butch (Ramirez). We want to unite Philippine sports with a focus of empowering NSAs and providing our athletes with the support they deserve.”

Vargas said he’s optimistic that under the new leadership, the POC will be able to harness support from the private and government sectors. “We’ve received calls from friends asking what can they do to support the POC,” he said. “Of course, MVP (SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan has pledged P20 Million as seed capital for the POC. Atty. Raymond Zorilla called in behalf of Dennis Uy to work closely with the Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation. Alfrancis Chua of the San Miguel Group is backing us up. Dr. Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan also promised to support us. We’ve received messages of support from Senators Sonny Angara, Migz Zubiri and Jinggoy Estrada.”

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