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PSC, Abap hit back: No special cows in PH pool

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Running with an overstretched budget, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is prioritizing the needs of Olympic-bound athletes despite the scarce funding brought about by the ongoing global health crisis.

That’s why it hurt the leadership of the government sports-funding agency when Olympic-bound boxer Eumir Marcial declared that he’s been receiving meager support and even belittled his P43,000 monthly allowance from the PSC.

As an established practice under the law, PSC chair William Ramirez clarified on Sunday that the agency’s financial assistance is funneled to their national sports associations (NSAs) and not directly to the athletes themselves.

“We don’t deal directly with the athletes unless their NSAs have an unliquidated account with us. It is the NSA that makes the request and endorses the athletes before we release the financial support,” said Ramirez. “We told him to raise his concerns with his NSA (the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines). I really convinced him to maintain rapport and go back to his mother organization.”

Marcial posted on his Facebook account last week that his monthly allowance from the PSC is not enough for him to win an Olympic gold medal.

“It’s true that he receives P43,000, but other Olympians like him enjoy almost the same monthly allowances and they never complained about it,” said Ramirez.

As a matter of procedure, the Abap is the legitimate body for amateur boxing under the privately run Philippine Olympic Committee that makes the request to the PSC for the training, preparation and other needs of their athletes.

The Abap requested funding for the ongoing training camp of the national boxing team, including Olympic-­bound boxers, in Thailand, but Marcial decided to train on his own in the United States after turning professional last year.

“He (Marcial) is included in the budget for Thailand. But we cannot divert the funds from the Thailand training and give it to him while he was training in the United States and now in Zamboanga City,” said Abap secretary general Ed Picson.

“The PSC will not accept our liquidation if we do that. We cannot use the budget somewhere else. He received incentives for qualifying to the Olympics from Abap aside from the PSC, so I don’t know why he said there is no support,” said Picson.

“Since last year when I was in the United States and until I came here in Zamboanga City, do you think a monthly allowance of P43,000 is enough for my preparation to the Olympics?” posted Marcial on his FB account.

“Do you think I can rely on P43,000 for plane tickets, accommodation, food, coaching staff, supplements, masseur, etc. All of these I have mentioned have been provided for by private sponsors and of course my own money,” added Marcial. INQ


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