MANILA – Despite its budget cut due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said it was still able to release a huge amount of money to support the national athletes vying for spots in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
On Thursday, the PSC revealed that it shelled out around PHP351 million for the first six months of 2020, and that is despite giving up almost PHP1.37 billion in total to the national government in its battle against Covid-19.
“It has been quite a challenge but we hope to keep our commitment to fund and support our athletes who have shown strong determination and chances in winning our first Olympic gold,” said PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.
The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) got the biggest share of the released budget, getting PHP20.2 million.
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines came in second with PHP13 million, while the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) received PHP7.8 million.
The first four qualified Philippine Olympians came from either of the three sports, EJ Obiena in athletics, Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial in boxing, and Caloy Yulo in gymnastics.
Yulo got almost half of the budget released to GAP for the first half of the year to cover his training in Japan.
Meanwhile, out of the PHP20.2 million of PATAFA, PHP1.8 million went straight to Obiena, who is currently based in Italy for his own training.
The Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas, on the other hand, got PHP11.2 million from the PSC, PHP3.8 million of which were directly given to Hidilyn Diaz’s team in Malaysia to support her own training for Olympic qualification.
On the other hand, Magno, Marcial, and the rest of the national boxing team received a total of PHP1.7 million from the PSC for their training.
The PSC earlier assured that it will keep on supporting Marcial’s Olympic quest even if he has already turned pro.
“We are doing what we can for our national athletes. We want them to stay focused on their goals and to stay positive while aspiring for Olympic glory. We want to remind them that PSC is always here to help them achieve success in any way that is possible,” Ramirez added. (PNA)