THE Philippine Sports Commission is looking elsewhere for a training base for national athletes after admitting that it is suddenly finding it difficult to communicate with China.
The Philippine government has a standing memorandum of understanding with China for cooperation in sports that includes the training of Filipino athletes in training centers on the mainland.
The agreement, however, has suddenly ground to a standstill, with one official who requested anonymity airing fears that the development could be a fallout of the Scarborough Shoal territorial dispute between the two countries.
“We are having problems getting training in China,” PSC chairman Ricardo Garcia admitted. “Hindi na sila sumasagot sa communication natin.
“We are a little worried so, hopefully, I could make an appointment with China so that we would know where to train our athletes.”
Until the communication lines got cut, Garcia said the PSC was planning to send athletes from weightlifting, gymnastics, wrestling, judo and archery to the mainland.
“We might send them instead to Baguio or to other countries that we have a standing MOU,” said Garcia.
As part of the MOU, the Shanghai Sharks, a Chinese professional team, were scheduled to play an exhibition game with a Philippine team here, but the match was later shelved.
Team officials later said the postponement was due to the delay in the issuance of passports to several players.
Meanwhile, newly appointed PSC commissioner Wigberto ‘Iggy’ Clavecilla took his oath at Malacanang along with several government appointees on Friday morning.