Limpag: Same old music

Mike T. Limpag
·2 min read

THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), again, is losing patience with some of the national sports associations (NSAs). The reason? The NSAs’ failure to liquidate funds given to them last year.

It’s the same old refrain. I remember when the present PSC admin took over in 2016. It got into a collision course with some NSAs when it published the list of unliquidated funds handed out by the admin of then PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia.

Talking to Noli Eala on Power and Play, PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said some P256 million of the P305 million given to 51 NSAs remain unliquidated as of July, 2020. Of the 51, only 49 were able to liquidate their funds.

Some blamed the lockdown for having difficulties in complying with requirements, which is understandable. However, because of their failure, the 49 NSAs won’t be getting a single centavo from the PSC starting on the first of this year.

And that’s a pity. After a year of Covid-19 lockdowns, I know the NSAs will be thirsting for funds and getting financial assistance from the PSC would have given their various programs a needed boost in the arm. The athletes, though, won’t be affected.

The PSC, as it has done in the past, will provide financial assistance directly to the athletes and bypass the NSAs, a move that has spared the athletes from being forced to be involved in political intramurals in their groups.

Previously, when the NSAs had a say on which athletes get to have a share of the PSC assistance, it was used as a carrot and a stick, which is why in previous NSA disputes you see the athletes getting involved.

PSC’s policy is a good one but I fear that the “Old Boys Network” that is the NSAs are just waiting out the final 18 months of the present administration for things to get back to the way it was. That is for them to not be bypassed should they fail to liquidate funds or such.

We all know that there’s a Commission on Audit rule that groups that fail to liquidate previous funds won’t be eligible for further assistance, but we’ve all heard of horror stories of groups or persons who shouldn’t receive funds but continue to do so.

Will the William Ramirez initiative force the NSAs to sing a new tune and shape up fiscally? I don’t know. Since February of last year, most of the NSAs were forced to shut down and I think the only time they got active was during the Philippine Olympic Committee elections. They could have acted on their liquidation reports during those time, right? That they didn’t, for me, showed where some of these NSAs’ priorities lie.