Rep. Yeng Guiao questions PSC 'priority sports' program in wake of Asiad debacle
Rep. Yeng Guiao in a huddle with sports officials at the end of the hearing. Reuben Terrado

PAMPANGA representative Yeng Guiao has sought a review of the country's sports program following the disappointing showing by Team Philippines in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, saying priority should be given to the athletes.

Presiding over an inquiry called by the House Committee on Youth and Sports on Wednesday, Guiao, who is also a multi-titled coach in the PBA, said a campaign that netted a single gold medal courtesy of BMX rider Daniel Caluag in Incheon left a lot to be desired.

However, Guiao made it clear he invited Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco to the committee meeting not out to pin the blame on anyone but to seek solutions to the long-standing problem.

“We are not here to pin the blame on anybody,” said Guiao during the committee meeting. “I’m disappointed and frustrated when I read the sports news (during the Asian Games). Everybody was looking forward to a gold medal and that includes basketball which I have a personal interest.”

In an interview with reporters later, Guiao described the committee meeting as a "friendly discussion among sportsmen," but said questions needed to be asked following the Asiad debacle.

“It’s also necessary that we ask the officials, na hindi naman puwede na pinabayaan natin na walang nagtanong after our performance. There is a lot of upside to it,” said Guiao.

Guiao also said a review of the PSC’s 'priority sports' program is necessary, saying the country's meager resources for sports should be focused on athletes who have the best chance of winning medals overseas.

“There is this program which is the 'priority sports' program na kailangan din natin i-review. Using that concept, isa lang ang na-produce natin na gold medal. Maybe instead of priority sports, priority athlete na lang na tignan natin kung sinong mga atleta ang may pag-asang manalo at buhusan natin ng suporta,” said Guiao.

Guiao also urged the government sports agency to spend more after the PSC bared that it only spent P17 million from the P50 million allocated as a supplementary budget for the Asian Games preparations by the National Sports Development Fund.

“I urge them to spend the extra money that they have. Nagulat ako na may sobrang pera pala sila na sa tingin ko naman ay kung nakalaan for that purpose, gastusin nila. Kung hindi naman sila nag-perform, ang mananagot ay ang mga NSA’s na gumamit ng pera,” Guiao said.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports