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Sports

The four pillars

THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco - The Philippine Star

There are four major government agencies involved with the conduct, funding and regulation of sports in the Philippines. Each has its own responsibilities, areas of concern and powers. The Office of the President has wide-ranging powers in terms of crafting and shaping sports in the country. The four often work together to move amateur and professional sports forward, and prevent any untoward incidents and misuse of public monies.

PSC. The Philippine Sports Commission is the lead government agency for amateur sports. Created by a Republic Act in 1990, its two biggest mandates are elite athlete programs and grassroots sports development. Basically, the commission funds the training and deployment of national athletes to international competitions, and implements sports programs for the youth to participate in to strengthen the nation. It works hand in hand with the Philippine Olympic Committee, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Education (and Commission on Higher Education), as well as local government units and other agencies. The PSC is the government agency at the forefront of preparations for individual sports tournaments and the Olympics, Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and the likes. It also provides benefits to deserving athletes, past and present.

GAB. The Games and Amusements Board was originally organized for the gamefowl industry in the Philippines. Now, it is the regulatory body for all professional sports in the country. The GAB oversees professional basketball, boxing, horse racing, cycling, e-sports, chess and other sports where players earn a living. It also licenses professional athletes, technical officials and other attendant professionals. Its field agents observe and protect the public interest in live games of professional sports leagues. It also institutes programs to protect pro athletes from unnecessary harm or abuse. GAB also works with international commissions for sports under its umbrella. The board constantly works with pro sports groups to improve the state of sport in the country.

PAGCOR. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is one of the strongest sources of funds for government programs, and allocates five percent of its revenues to support the PSC. It grants gaming licenses and sports betting rights to qualified entities, who must in turn pay significant monthly dues to the national government. All casinos and other gaming establishments and groups fall under its supervision. Whereas GAB covers games of skill, PAGCOR specializes in games of chance. It also does charity work and helps with government projects, and provides advertising support for worthwhile projects and media programs.

PCSO. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is one of the biggest contributors to charitable and medical efforts of the government. Funded mainly by its lottery games, it conducts strict, regular televised draws. Under law, PCSO also supports PSC through its sweepstakes. It has since diversified with lotto and other numbers games. PCSO continues to be one of the most noble and giving government agencies.

Without these four pillars of the national government backing sports and society, the current state of the nation would be a very different picture.

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