PATAFA finds ways to help athletes after allowance cut

MANILA, Philippines – As uncertainty continues to loom over the Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) ability to shell out the monthly allowances of national athletes and coaches, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) tries its best to help its own athletes.

After slashing the national athletes' allowances by 50%, the PSC is hoping that the monthly remittance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) will be enough to cover the regular amount by September or October.

But if the fund cut continues, PATAFA is planning to shoulder its athletes' living expenses by looking for an alternative training venue.

"Assuming the government isn't able to [provide athletes their full allowance], we're prepared to subsidize it in some manner for the athletes. In fact, that is one of the considerations that we're looking at, when we're looking for a training venue," said PATAFA president Philip Juico.

"We want a venue, which is not too far because if it's too far, it will create a logistical challenge now in terms of transport and in terms of meal allowances and all of that. So, we are looking at all of this bearing in mind that there are challenges."

As the Philsports Complex in Pasig, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and even the Philippine Arena in Bulacan continue to be used as quarantine facilities, the national federation is looking at private venues such as the Vermosa Sports Hub, La Salle Dasmariñas in Cavite, and even Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

But currently, these private venues are not open yet because of public health safety protocols imposed by the government.

"It's such a complex situation. Wherever you turn, there is a problem, you solve one, another one is created," said Juico.

The athletics federation is also hoping that the contracts of the foreign coaches of Olympic hopefuls Kristina Knott and William Morrison will be renewed as the PSC starts to rescind some coaches' contracts.

"As long as all of these matters have been completed, the contracts have been signed, the CVs have been submitted and all of that, that's a commitment," added Juico.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino has plans of lobbying to restore the full monthly allowances of athletes through Congress.

Juico led the effort of 7 NSAs to propose league restart guidelines to the Inter-Agency Task Force as Philippine athletics aims to hold its national open in December.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics-bound EJ Obiena, Knott and Morrison are hoping to participate in the meet as it is set to be accredited as a qualifier for the quadrennial meet.

Date: June 29, 2020 | By: Beatrice Go | Newspaper: Rappler | Source: