Ricky Vargas ‘uncertain’ of future POC term

Beatrice Go
Ricky Vargas ‘uncertain’ of future POC term
'It’s kind of very difficult to commit that I want to become president again,' says Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas



MANILA, Philippines – After being elected to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) presidential post midway through the usual four-year term, Ricky Vargas already feels unsure of vying for a full second term. 

“If I can no longer do a good job, I just want to prepare the organization for someone to do a better job because there are some things that conflict in my being as a leader,” said Vargas, who graced the Philippines Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum on Tuesday, April 9, at the Amelie Hotel.

“It’s kind of very difficult to commit that I want to become president again, I’m committing to finishing my term, but I feel that there’s someone who would do a better job.”

Vargas admitted that his goals of resolving disputes among national sports associations and strengthening the membership status of various sports organizations have yet to be achieved. 

In as much as he wants to cultivate changes right away within the country’s Olympic governing body, Vargas said it will take some time before transformation can be effected within the POC.

“Where I am not comfortable in the POC is the culture, and how my own personality or leadership is being forced to a situation that I don’t like in terms of running the organization,” said Vargas, a long-time corporate top brass. 

“I’m not too happy about that and we’d like to move forward to seeing to it that the culture changes into a more transparent, more honest, and less political organization.”

However, Vargas, grandson of former Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (forerunner of POC) chairman Jorge Vargas, still managed to achieve a better Asian Games standing and regain the trust of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in one year.

“My two most important accomplishments are the athletes and the proper governance of the association which is now fully recognized as seen by the IOC, by the Olympics Solidarity and by the many other associations internationally that has already congratulated us and started working with the Philippines again.” 

With these achievements, the POC is shooting for the ISO excellence award which will hopefully effect more changes. 

Vargas and Bambol Tolentino were voted president and chairman, respectively, in 2018 after defeating Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and Ting Ledesma in a court-ordered poll held at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

But getting the post of president is just half the job as Vargas had to work and deal next with a holdover POC board.

And it hasn’t been that easy.

“So they have many rights, procedures, tradition, and all that we’re trying to work with,” added Vargas, whose first year in the office was met by changes in the POC By-Laws and Constitution. 

Vargas, who concurrently serves as PBA chairman, is also among the lead officials working on the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games later this year. (New target: Beef up athletics, aquatics for 2019 SEA Games– Rappler.com

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.