Echauz raises questions on POC amendments
Abraham Tolentino
STAR/ File
Echauz raises questions on POC amendments
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - July 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Sailing Association (PSA) president Ernesto “Judes” Echauz has joined the group opposing the plan to impose an age limit on those seeking elective positions in the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

Echauz said the move barring NSA (national sports association) officials aged 70 years old and above from running in this year’s POC elections may cause confusion within the local Olympic body.

“I’m not for this (amendment),” said the 72-year-old sportsman, who also supports cycling, duathlon and triathlon.

POC president Abraham Tolentino said the age limit is now being observed and followed in the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Tolentino, the congressman from Tagaytay City, added that it is aimed at giving younger sports officials the chance to serve and chart the course of Philippine sports. He said the “elders” can still make their presence felt as advisers or consultants.

Former POC president Ricky Vargas heads the committee on constitutional amendments. He said the amendments will give the POC “the chance to grow.”

Echauz, the country’s No.1 sailor, said he can’t understand why persons 70 years and older are allowed to sit as an NSA president but are barred from running for or seeking a POC position.

“It’s against the POC’s own constitution,” said Echauz.

“Representatives of the NSAs, like a president or secretary general, do not have an age limit, and are therefore members of the POC,” he said.

The POC is also seeking amendments that would prevent any official from occupying the position of president in more than one NSA, and disaffiliating an NSA that is no longer recognized by its international federation (IF).

The issue was supposed to be tackled during the POC executive committee meeting last Monday. But due to lack of time, the POC moved that the matter be discussed tomorrow.

Echauz also said the “elders” in sports are the ones who are more than willing to sacrifice to the extent of digging deep into their own pockets to help their respective sports.

“Besides, who can afford to spend millions on the NSA but the older ones who are either rich on their own or are connected with institutions with budget for sports,” said Echauz.

Others who have questioned the proposed amendments include POC chairman Steve Hontiveros, first vice president Jose Romasanta, second VP Jeff Tamayo, treasurer Julian Camacho, auditor Jonne Go and board members Clint Aranas and Robert Mananquil.

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