Butch Ramirez vows to double NSA budgets but expects better performances in return
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez hopes to double the Philippine delegates to the next Olympics with the increase in support the agency will provide to athletes. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has promised to double the existing budget of national sports associations (NSAs) as part of its campaign to strengthen the country's sports program.

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez bared this plan in a press conference on Tuesday, a day after the closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympics where the Philippines ended a 20-year medal drought with Hidilyn Diaz’s silver medal in weightlifting.

“We will double your budget, give us your program, then look at the results at the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, Asian Games [in 2018], and we host (the Southeast Asian Games),” Ramirez said.

Ramirez expects the number of Olympic qualifiers in 2020 will also rise once the budget is doubled.

“We expect that in three years, we expect that it not will only be 13 athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, we will double the delegates sa Olympics,” Ramirez said.

The PSC chairman noted that the move is the agency’s response to complaints from NSAs and athletes on their lack of support. But with bigger funding, Ramirez expects better performances from the athletes.

"Wala kaming training or exposure, wala kaming foreign exposure," Ramirez echoing various complaints by athletes and NSAs. “I plan to give it (budget), but my national director will monitor your training and will watch your exposure, we will monitor it.”

"We could easily stop the funding, but it should be reasonable. At a certain duration na walang resulta yung NSA na yan, mali ang pagkuha ng talent," he added.

Despite the higher expectation, Ramirez noted that he hopes to add no pressure to the athletes already sacrificing for the country. He said that the higher responsibility remains with the government and other agencies to provide all the needs of the athletes to perform at their best for the flag. 

“We would like to win a medal in the Olympics. We should not only dream and hope, we should be expecting. But when we expect, we should provide those things like food, rest, pagkain, tulugan. We should ask ourselves do we provide these to our athletes?" said Ramirez.

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