Sea Games debacle blamed on inept sports leadership

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THE latest debacle in Philippine sports clearly shows how ineffective the current leadership of the Philippine Sports Commission (POC) and the Philippine Olympic Commission (POC) are, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th said
on Monday.

Trillanes pushed for the creation of a Department of Sports to elevate the importance of Philippine sports and to ensure the protection, training and welfare of Filipino athletes.

He noted that the PSC under its current Chairman Richie Garcia failed to improve and develop Philippine sports.

The senator was referring to the poor performance of the Philippine delegates in the recently concluded 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, wherein the country landed in seventh place, which is considered as the worst stint since the Philippines joined the sports event in 1977.


The Philippines got a total of 100 medals—29 gold, 34 silver and 37 bronze. The country sent 210 Filipino athletes to compete at the 27th SEA Games.

Sen. Pia Cayetano also criticized the officials of the PSC and the POC headed by Jose Cojuangco for their gross mishandling of athletes and sports program.

“What we lack in funding, modern training facilities and, sad to say, competent and forward-thinking sports officials, our athletes make up for with their courage, skills and commitment to fight for our flag,” she said.

Cayetano lamented the wasted talents of some of the outstanding athletes who were not allowed to compete at the SEA Games because of the short-sightedness of the PSC and POC.

“Athletes who were excluded from the national team, like the Philippine Dragon Boat Team who are world champions, and young swimmer Denjylie Cordero, who recently broke a decade-old national record, were victims of politicking by sports officials whose actions are condoned instead of being sanctioned by the PSC and POC,” she added.

Trillanes expressed belief that the creation of a Department of Sports (DOS) could bring the needed changes in the sports sector.

Under his proposal, the DOS will formulate policies, plan, coordinate, implement, promote and develop sports and physical fitness in the country.

“It is hoped that once the Department of Sports is established, sports would once again become an integral component of youth development, a galvanizing force for national unity and a source of national pride,” Trillanes explained.

He lamented that the government seems to have overlooked the crucial role of sports in national development.

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