The decision of the Senate of the Philippines to defer the approval of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) budget is a welcome development, according to Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa.
“It’s because the commission would be forced to provide the chamber a detailed explanation issues that have been affecting the country’s sports development. The development of athlete is sinking particularly in swimming because of the PSC ‘s failure to follow its mandate,” stressed Papa.
The PSL cited that one of the objectives of the commission is “to provide leadership, formulate the policies and set the priorities and direction of all amateur sports promotion and development, particularly giving emphasis on grassroots participation.”
Papa also mentioned a law under section 1A of Rule 111 saying “In Section 2: To encourage wide participation of all sectors, government and private, in amateur sports promotion and development. And Section 3 to supplement government appropriations for sports promotion and development. Rule 111 Section 2: It must be a Sports for all Program.”
Papa also clarified that they are not after financial support from the PSC.
“That is the mandate and functions of the PSC. The problem is that if PSC does not know their functions, paano mo pagkakatiwala ang pera ng gobyerno na hindi nila alam gamitin. Also let me make things clear that PSL is not asking for funds nor we want to be a POC-NSA in swimming. What we want is the system to be change,” said Papa.
“How can we be productive if the head of the sports agency does not know his functions and follow only what POC or POC-NSA is dictating upon him? What we want to emphasize is that these funds are as much in need protection as any other government money.
“To close our eyes to this prevailing situation is to condone frauds against government treasury and to go against the interest of our young swimmers in particular, and the Filipino people and our country in general,” she added.
The PSL has been active in its grassroots development program through staging monthly competitions in various provinces in the country as well as sending athletes in some international competitions.
“What PSL is doing is to develop grassroots and it has the longest grassroots developmental now on going in the country in swimming without financial support from the government. They are making it hard for our swimmers, if a simple tax exemption PSC can not be of help and all it takes is to endorse and sign it and no money is involve and just a signature, how can he be in trusted with millions of pesos?” Papa said.
“Our competing abroad is part our developmental program by exposing our young swimmers to International competition, which POC does not have because they only recognize SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympics,” she said.
Papa wants the PSC to act as a sole agency.
“In sum, we are saying that POC can not in any way be on top of PSC. If it is the law that POC a non-government is on top of the sports agency, which is PSC, then there is something wrong with the law that the Senate has look into besides the budget. Besides POC does not have grassroots it is either they get Filipino- American or Americans were they make them Filipinos, then if they can do that why cant they open their tryouts to all Filipino citizen and don’t have to be member in POC,” ended Papa.