IT’S about time the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) receives proper remittance due it from two government-run agencies.
Pampanga first district congressman Yeng Guiao on Tuesday filed a petition before the Supreme Court to require the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to remit the proper contributions to the government sports agency a backlog in its contribution the last five years.
Under the Petition for Mandamus, Guiao estimated the amount close to P4 billion from 2010-2015 alone - funds which, he said, could go a long way in the development of Philippine sports.
As per RA 6847 that created the PSC Act of 1990, PAGCOR is mandated to remit five percent of its gross income to the government sports agency, while PCSO is supposed to remit 30 percent of earnings from six sweepstakes or lottery draws per annum.
But beginning 1993, PAGCOR has unilaterally brought down its contribution to just 2.1375 percent of its gross income, on the strength of an executive order from the Office of the President handed down during the time of President Ramos.
PCSO on the other hand, has likewise refused to comply with the law.
“What we presented is a simple implementation of what the law says, we’re not asking for any interpretation. PAGCOR has a different interpretation, but in so far as we’re concerned, the law is very clear,” explained Guiao’s legal counsel Atty. Avelino Guzman Jr., who was with the Pampanga congressman and his chief of staff Ramon Navarra Jr. during an informal press briefing shortly after the filing of the petition.
The PSC was represented by commissioner Jolly Gomez and executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy.
Explaining the petition, Guiao noted that it is a clearly established legal tenet that no executive order over-ride an expressed provision of law passed by the legislature.
“Batas na natin ito, ginawa na natin ito, so we’re expecting that it is followed to the letter,” said Guiao, vice-chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports.
The veteran PBA coach said the additional remittance would be a big help in funding sports development, or perhaps the construction of a long-overdue training center for national athletes.
“If we are successful in recovering PSC’s just share from PAGCOR and PCSO, imagine the good that it will do to Philippine sports. We can build better facilities, provide better nutrition and training to our athletes,” he said.
“We will also have enough funds to build a new national training center to replace our flood-prone and pollution-laden complex in Manila,” he added, referring to the age-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
PAGCOR apparently relied on a mere memorandum approved by the Office of the President in unilaterally reducing the share it provides for Philippine sports.
“Ang basis nila is yung memorandum of then PAGCOR chairman Alice Reyes with the marginal approval of FVR so it all started from there,” noted Guiao.
For its part, PCSO is not remitting its share since 2006, contending that its lotto operation is different from ‘lottery’ as stipulated in RA 6847. But Guzman said the contention is a contravention of at least two legal opinions from the Department of Justice.
Guiao, who is also coach of Rain or Shine in the PBA, said he is not trying to fault anyone.
“It’s actually not the fault of anybody at this point, dahil parang carry-on lang nila yung practice na nakaugalian na. And nobody was questioning it,” he said.