Anomaly in use of IOC grants?
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2019 - 12:00am

An apparent anomaly has surfaced involving the previous POC administration’s handling of an IOC grant for the rebuilding of sports facilities in towns affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.  The total grant was for $450,000 but only $300,000 was released in two tranches of $150,000 each. 

The beneficiaries were the towns of Palo and Albuera in Leyte and Alangalang in Southern Leyte.  A multi-purpose, roofed gym primarily for basketball, volleyball and badminton was constructed without walls in each town.  A source said each facility was constructed at a cost of about P4 Million.

The source said no financial report was submitted to the IOC to liquidate the advances.  Instead, photographs of the constructed facilities were sent to justify the use of the funds.  A POC official who is involved in the construction business said looking at the photographs of the gyms, he estimated a cost of P2.5 Million for each facility.  If the official’s estimate is correct, someone must account for the discrepancy.  Without a financial report, it may be difficult to track a money trail to uncover where the funds went unless the POC books are audited and thoroughly reviewed, assuming the accounts are in order. 

If the accounts aren’t in order, it may be next to impossible to prove any wrong-doing.  Someone said the day after Ricky Vargas was elected POC president last February, a lot of paper shredding was done at the POC office.  Was it evidence of anomalous transactions that went under the shredder?  In which account were the two IOC tranches amounting to a total of $300,000 deposited?  How was the money disbursed and what was the actual cost of constructing the three multi-purpose gyms? 

The source said the POC is now after the balance of $150,000 if the IOC will allow a drawdown despite the flimsy liquidation of the earlier tranches.  “It shouldn’t just be the construction of a facility,” said the source.  “It should also include a sustainable program for training and youth development.  There are towns in Iloilo and Samar that could benefit from the grant.”

Meanwhile, only Charlie Ho of handball/netball showed up at the committee meeting called by former POC president Jose Cojuangco, Jr. to discuss possible amendments to the POC Constitution and By-Laws last week.  Invited to attend were POC board member Butch Pichay of chess, Atty. Al Agra of obstacle sports and POC auditor Jonne Go of canoe/kayak.

Vargas designated Cojuangco as committee chairman and former POC president Cito Dayrit as member.  But when a memorandum was issued by Boosie Apuan in Cojuangco’s behalf to set a meeting, Dayrit was excluded from the list of invitees.  It was a direct rejection of Vargas’ appointment of Dayrit to join the committee.

The committee is supposed to recommend amendments, one of which is to set an age limit for POC membership.  In the IOC, the limit is 70 years unless the member was appointed between 1966 to 1999 in which case the limit is 80.  The limit is extendable up to four years by the IOC Executive Board.  If the POC sets a limit of 70, Cojuangco will be disqualified from running in the next elections in 2020 when he’ll be 86.  There is talk that Cojuangco may resign his position as chairman of the committee because of the poor attendance in the meeting he called last week.

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS TYPHOON YOLANDA
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