MANILA – Back from his month-long leave to take care of his sick wife, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez hit the ground running Monday, asking the help of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on the sports agency’s case against one of its staff discovered to be cheating the government in a payroll scam.

“We need all the help we can get to get to the bottom of this and make every effort that nothing of this sort ever happens again,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez also convened the sports agency’s board the same day to discuss the matter as well as other pertinent matters needing the body’s decision.

In his letter to the OSG, Ramirez sought “assistance in instituting proper proceedings relative to the complaint filed against Paul Michael Ignacio” including garnishment of all real or personal property and the reversion of these back to the government.

Just a week ago, Ignacio was invited by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents, acting on the request of PSC’s Executive Director Merlita Ibay for assistance on the discovered payroll padding committed by Ignacio.

The payroll scam also prompted the PSC to take stock of its entire operations, some areas of which received ISO certification just last year.

“The board is 100 percent with the Chairman on this,” said Commissioner Ramon Fernandez who was officer-in-charge when the irregularity came to notice.

Lawyer Guillermo Iroy Jr., Deputy Executive Director for Support, has been appointed to lead the legal team in pursuing the case.

In the same board meeting, the PSC also approved to have process and organizational auditors to help the agency in its mission to fortify all bureaus.

“We need fresh eyes to take a look at our processes and seek out areas that need to be strengthened,” Ramirez said.

Another online meeting is set on Wednesday between the board and the audit team. (PR)