Despite budget cuts, PSC vows to support national athletes

EVEN with its severely limited resources, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has vowed to support its Olympic hopefuls’ quest for sporting glory.

Because of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, some P596 million and P773 million were redirected by the Department of Budget and Management from the sports agency’s National Sports Development Fund and the fund from the General Appropriations Act, respectively, to help bankroll the country’s fight against the dreaded Covid-19.

While boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno, pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo have already earned slots to the Tokyo Games before the lockdown, there are plenty more who are waiting for their chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, which has been moved to 2021.

In spite of the budget cuts, PSC chairman William Ramirez reiterated that these athletes have the support of the government.

“We will not waiver in our quest to fulfill the country’s Olympic dream and we are very hopeful that more athletes will be able to qualify once the situation gets better,” said Ramirez.

“It’s a tough situation but we understand the priorities of the national government. We will do what we can to continue the support we give to our athletes especially those vying for an Olympic slot,” Ramirez added.

Among the athletes that are gearing up to fight for slots to the Olympiad are 2016 Rio Olympics silver medal winner Hidilyn Diaz in weightlifting and 2019 Southeast Asian Games double-gold medal winner and Cebuana, Margielyn Didal of skateboarding.

In spite of the money constraints, the PSC has not wavered in providing its national athletes with online sports psychology consultations, virtual training sessions and nutrition, physiology and conditioning webinars. (JNP)