POC election needs government intervention

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SUSAN PAPA

SUSAN PAPA

The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) is the primary initiator of the democratization of the sport of swimming in the country, an initiative that other national sports associations have followed.

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The democratization of sports in the Philippines could only happen if Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez will implement the law of the land.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) election on November 25 needs government intervention.

In the past administration, when Ricardo Garcia led the PSC, all its workings are in favor of the POC. It was not surprising since it was through the effort of POC President Peping Cojuangco that Garcia became PSC chairman.

Republic Act No. 6847, the law that created the PSC, defines the power, function and responsibilities of the said agency.

Section 2, Declaration of Policy states that, “It is the policy of the State to promote physical education, encourage and sustain the development of sports in the country to foster physical fitness, self-discipline, teamwork and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry through a unified national sports promotion and development program, and that the establishment and creation of a single, unified and integrated national sports policy-making body shall further this objective.”

Section 3, Creation of the PSC states that, “to carry out the above policy, a body corporate known as the PSC, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, is hereby created and established.”

Section 4, Status of the Commission states that, “the Commission shall have the same status as that of a governmental regulatory national agency attached to the Office of the President with the Chairman thereof being of the same level as a department undersecretary and the Commissioners that of department assistant secretaries.”

Section 5, “The Commission shall exercise corporate powers. It shall have a seal, may sue and shall be the sole policy-making and coordinating body of all amateur sports development program and institutions in the Philippines.”

Based on the aforementioned, the POC has violated Republic Act 6847, and therefore can be sued.

It has been written many times that it was no less than the POC that is blocking the progress of Philippine sports. And that stumbling block is no less than POC President Peping Cojuangco, who during his tenure has failed to improve Philippine sports.

He has no accomplishments as POC president and has no plan for the betterment of Philippine sports. That is why it would be better to give his position to an individual who has vision and dedication to uplift Philippine sports. Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th once asked: “Why is it that nobody is bringing the issue before a Philippine court of law or why can’t the PSC disband the POC?”

The POC is a private organization and therefore it cannot be above the law of the land. It cannot in anyway be above the PSC, which is a government sports agency.

My fellow athlete during the 1974 Tehran Asian Games hoops legend Ramon “Mon” Fernandez, now PSC Commissioner said that, “The POC has become a circus with politicians running it. No clean and fair elections.”

Under the law, the PSC can exercise its corporate power to sue, the POC which is a private organization registered under the Security and Exchange Commission.

If that happens, the POC will be suspended (as an NOC).

There should be no more POC election this month – the government must take over the agency.

A parent of a PSL swimmer that is a lawyer said that, “the fastest remedy is for the government to disband the POC due to its many violations of the law of the land, which is detrimental to the development of upcoming and young athletes.”

The time for change is now! The government must dissolve POC!

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