MANILA, Philippines – As Philippine gambling was put to a halt until May 2020, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) only received P9 million for its montly remittance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) in April.
The PSC, which used to get from Pagcor a monthly fund of P120 million to P150 million prior to the coronavirus pandemic, said the fund cut prompted it to slash the allowances of athletes and coaches by 50%.
“Hindi aabot ‘yung allowances ng December without reduction [of allowances] (The allowances won’t last until December without a reduction of allowances),” PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said during the Philippine Sportswriters Assocaition (PSA) forum on Tuesday, June 2.
The government sports agency already started rescinding most of the contracts of grassroots coaches and around 30 to 45 PSC coordinators across the country.
“It breaks our heart, but from the start of the lockdown, we never cut off our connection to the athletes,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez and the PSC commissioners are also in talks of reevaluating the contract renewals of around 23 foreign coaches, giving retainment priority to the coaches of Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls like EJ Obiena and Carlos Yulo.
The PSC has also yet to send out the P2 million funding promised to Obiena, in order to pay for his living expenses in Formia, Italy.
“When the money comes, according to 6847, we are committed to giving it to the grassroots and the elite programs,” added Ramirez.
Under Republic Act No. 6847 or the Philippine Sports Commission Act of 1990, Pagcor must remit 5% of its gross income to the government sports agency. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is supposed to remit 30% of its income from 6 sweepstakes or lottery draws annually to the PSC.
Pagcor has been remitting less than 2.5% to the PSC since 1993. This prompted former Pampanga representative and Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao to file in 2016 a petition before the Supreme Court to compel Pagcor and the PCSO to honor their obligations to the PSC. – Rappler.com