PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia is confident the country will be able to continue its sports cooperation program with China, his hopes bolstered after a recent trip to the mainland.
The government sports agency's cooperation agreement with its Chinese counterpart had been hampered by the Scarborough Shoal dispute, but Garcia used a recent trip to China for a wushu forum to reconnect with Chinese sports officials.
He emerged from the trip confident that the program is back on track.
“We have not given up,” Garcia said. “I accepted an invitation to go to China. I find the occasion an opportunity to reconnect again with sports officials in China.”
The PSC top honcho said he has been in close contact with Chinese embassy officials even during the height of the Scarborough Shoal issue. “They are still very excited (about the agreement). I’m hoping na ang mga atleta natin, mapadala sa China in the coming months.
"I’m sure by the end of the year, we might start sending athletes to China,” said Garcia.
The PSC recently also signed a sports cooperation pact with Spain, and mulls signing similar agreements with other European sports powers.