THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is reiterating its call for the Philippine Games and Amusement Board (Pagcor) to start remitting the full five percent of its monthly income to the government agency as mandated by law.
Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said once this happens, the PSC can intensify its nationwide grassroots programs that will benefit the national athletes and the different local government units (LGUs).
“The PSC through the Philippine Sports Institute has been going around the country trying to motivate the LGUs to join our grassroots program,” Fernandez told the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
“But the LGUs keep telling us that they don’t have the budget for a full grassroots sports program. So, we encouraged instead them to help us seek the help of President Duterte,” Fernandez added.
The former basketball superstar and national athlete said with the President and the LGUs behind the move, the PSC will find it easier to push its case concerning Pagcor.
Under the law, the government-owned corporation must remit five percent of its monthly income to the PSC, which can use the money to feed close to a thousand national athletes, coaches and trainers, fund their training and boost its nationwide grassroots programs.
But since 1993, Pagcor, based on what seems to be a different interpretation of the law, has been remitting only 2.5 percent of its monthly income to the PSC, which amounts to more or less P100 million a month.
“It’s not enough. And even if Pagcor gives us the full five percent, it still may not be enough. But with that we will be able to help all the LGUs fund their own grassroots programs,” said Fernandez, citing the enormous budget for sports of other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore or Thailand.
“We feel that the LGUs are a vital part of the PSC’s grassroots programs. But we need to help them, too,” he added.