Karate federation loses PSC funding amid probe into alleged misuse of athletes' allowance
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez announces the suspension of support to the PKF. Gerry Ramos

THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has suspended its support to the Philippine Karatedo Federation after the national sports association was embroiled in a controversy over alleged misappropriation of government funds.

Ramirez said the PSC has stopped providing financial assistance to the PKF due to questions over the use of funds given for the national team’s 20-day training camp in Germany before the Southeast Asian Games.

“We decided this morning to suspend all funding to the PKF,” Ramirez said.

The PKF is being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) following accusations that its athletes were not given their entire allowance for the 20-day trip.

The PSC issued a $1,800 allowance for each athlete in the training camp, but members of the national squad, based on complaints made by a few athletes who were part of the trip, allegedly received only $470 for the entire camp.

PKF president Joey Romasanta, however, said the remaining budget during that Germany trip was used for other expenses for the contingent such as food and transportation.

Romasanta also said no government money was lost or misused during the trip.

Romasanta and PKF secretary general Raymund Lee Reyes recently visited Ramirez to air their side even as the NBI started conducting its own investigation into the matter.

Ramirez also said PKF officials and coaches will be restricted from the athletes’ dormitory of the Philsports Complex.

Ramirez, however, said the national athletes will still be given their allowances despite the suspension of government support to the PKF.

“We are here to take care of the athletes, love them, feed them, support them,” said Ramirez.

Following the mess, Ramirez said the PSC is now planning to have one disbursing officer join such trips in order for the funds to be properly appropriated.

“Magkakaroon na kami ng isang tao who will be responsible for paying the hotels, other expenses. We will leave it up to the para wala ng liquidation,” said Ramirez.

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