Press Release
August 26, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara told Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Ricardo Garcia to take a stand in funding the best athletes of the country who are fielded to the national team.

Angara cited the case of the Philippine Dragonboat Team, which was not financially supported by the PSC because it was not accredited by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) as a national team.

Garcia said that the PSC has the authority to extend some financial assistance to the Dragonboat Team, but cannot support them as a national team despite their achievements. On the other had, the canoe and kayak teams will enjoy the PSC's endorsement and financial backing in the upcoming South East Asian (SEA) Games because they have due accreditation.

"The PSC has to take a stand," said Angara at yesterday's PSC budget hearing. "Use your funding authority as leverage to make sure that the POC selects only the best. If they don't, don't release funds."

The lawmaker lamented the existing mechanism which leaves the selection of athletes and coaches for the national team to the National Sports Association (NSA) and then to be accreditted by the POC. The PSC, despite being the source of funding, has no say in this selection process.

"Our athletes end up being subjected to the factions and politics of these organizations. It's time the PSC asserted its authority to influence the selection." said Angara. "We in the Senate can help the PSC broker that arrangement.

"It is the name and pride of the country that is at stake here," he added. "It would be a pity for our best athletes to miss these opportunities."

The Dragonboat Team, sponsored by Cobra, brought home five gold medals in the recently concluded World Championships held in Tampa, Florida, despite lack of official recognition from the government.

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