Pacquiao vows to reform PH sports sector
MANILA — Boxing champ Sen. Manny Pacquiao has vowed to push for reforms in the country’s sports sector and ensure that Filipino athletes are given benefits and incentives they deserve.
Pacquiao, chair of the Senate committee on sports, said he would meet with officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) for a consultation next week to jumpstart such efforts.
“It has been a long time that nobody has bothered to look into problems in sports. It has been ignored. Of course, we know that a lot of anomalies also happen in sports,” Pacquiao told reporters on Tuesday.
For instance, he said, the PSC could solicit funds from other sources without auditing: “It’s not transparent. That’s the first problem.”
He also wants to fix what he describes to be the overlapping mandates of the PSC and the POC.
“We’re trying to know more about the details from the PSC. I heard the problems, somebody told me so that’s what I want to focus on right now. It’s my obligation to improve that during my time,” said the lawmaker.
Pacquiao, also a playing coach for the Mahindra Enforcers at the Philippine Basketball Association, said he would make sure that Olympic silver-medalist Hidilyn Diaz would get her P5-million cash incentive from government, as mandated by the law.
He also vowed to look into the unpaid P2.5 million promised incentive to boxer Onyok Velasco, who won a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“We will really focus on the incentives that have not been given to our athletes and on reforming the PSC. We will fix that because, of course, I have been in sports for a long time. I know the ins and outs,” he said. SFM/rga
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