PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has vowed his full support to Filipino athletes, promising to give the financial backing they sorely need from unpaid and uncollected taxes under his administration.
Speaking during the send-off ceremony for the Rio Olympics-bound athletes in Malacañang on Monday, Duterte reiterated that Philippine sports will be sufficiently provided for through taxes that have yet to be paid to the government due to loop holes in the system.
“Just like the oligarchs of this country, they get the contracts from government, they enjoy the fat of the land, and they don’t really bother paying taxes,” said Duterte.
“This online gambling, we don’t even know how much they are earning, how much are we supposed to collect, or if there is a mechanism at all to collect. Tapos tayong nandito, we are trying to train our athletes for the greater glory of this Philippines."
“That is why I assure you, during my time, I will get the money from the pockets who are not paying taxes and give it to you,” he added to the cheers of the Filipino athletes and officials present during the send-off.
Duterte claimed the government loses P300 million a day in uncollected and unpaid taxes alone, an amount which he said is more than enough to develop sports in the country.
“If I just collect one month, tapos na ang problema,” said Duterte. “In the coming days, we will have more support because I will collect.”
Philippine Sports Commission chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said Duterte has also tasked the government sports agency to take a look at other problems besetting sports and national athletes.
“The President delegated the matter to the PSC so we will do our best that we can perform better this time. We will inform the President of the development itong three months to this year. We will do our best to present to the President the master plan,” said Ramirez.