SPORTS activities under its care have been cancelled by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the rest of the year brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made Wednesday by the PSC Board led by chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez following an online meeting, stressing the move was in compliance with the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) directive banning mass gathering and other sports activities beyond the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period.
The ECQ, which was supposed to end on April 30, was extended until May 15 with the National Capital Region (NCR) and other neighboring provinces.
Likewise, the government sports agency announced that it is finally withdrawing further financial support to the 10th Asean Paragames, which has been postponed twice.
The PSC however, said it will honor its previous commitments with the Asean Paragames organizing committee to cover initial operations expenses.
Among those affected by the PSC resolution is the holding of the Batang Pinoy National finals and the Philippine National Games, both of which are supposed to be held in Manila.
Forgoing the events is likewise in accordance with the directive of the Department of Budget Management on projects that will be discontinued as per National Budget Circular 580.
This will also allow the PSC to institute several belt-tightening measures to ensure it can keep its commitment to continue supporting members of the national team.
“We heed the call of the national government to cut expenses as we reroute majority of our resources to fighting the pandemic, but we also stand by our commitment to keep supporting members of the national team,” said Ramirez.
The PSC chief announced a status quo on allowance releases for national athletes and coaches, and thanked the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for its steady remittances to the agency.
Under the ECQ however, PAGCOR’s income has been greatly affected, and shall probably impact its subsequent remittances to PSC.
“We continue to study projections and proposals and the board is ready to take necessary actions should they be needed,” said Ramirez.
The entire PSC Board attended its second meeting since last week, with Commissioners Commissioners Celia Kiram, Ramon Fernandez, Arnold Agustin and Charles Maxey joining Ramirez along with Executive Director Merly Ibay, Deputy Executive Directors Dennis Rivera and Guillermo Iroy, as well as Chief of Staff Marc Velasco.