THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has lashed out at the move of the Commission on Audit (COA) to withhold the release of government funding for several National Sports Associations (NSAs) with unliquidated funds.
POC first vice president Joey Romasanta said the COA move is definitely a distraction for Filipino athletes who are in the middle of their preparations for several international tournaments including the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea set from September 19 to October 4.
“Definitely this is disturbing. It is an unneeded distraction,” said Romasanta following the POC’s general assembly on Wednesday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the government’s lead funding agency for sports, was recently advised by resident CoA auditor Chito Janaban to suspend financial assistance to 15 NSAs with pending unliquidated reports.
Among those affected is judo which has yet to liquidate a total of P4 million in funds.
Other NSAs mentioned include wrestling, sailing, weightlifting, golf, rowing, boxing, archery, bridge, and windsurfing.
Romasanta said while the POC supports effort to protect government funds, he said there were no formal charges filed or a final decision yet on the aforementioned NSAs that will merit suspension of financial assistance from the PSC.
Romasanta even quoted POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco by saying that COA is ‘holding hostage’ the NSAs.
“Bago sana may ganoong findings, supposedly, dapat kinonsulta muna ng mabuti because it is not helping the state of Philippine sports in terms of public support and corporate support as well. Dapat i-qualify ‘yung unliquidated,” said Romasanta.