The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Thursday assured national athletes of its full support for their 2021 Tokyo Olympics bid despite the budget cuts made to fund the government’s efforts against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement, the PSC said around P1.3 billion of its funds were redirected to the Department of Budget and Management for COVID-19 efforts, P596 million of which were from the National Sports Development Fund, and P773 million from their budget allotted in the General Appropriations Act.
“The PSC board has assured that the agency will support them for as long as they can, explaining that the investment of both the government and the athletes into their Olympic dream cannot be set aside just that easily,” PSC said.
The sporting body also said PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez hopes to send more athletes to the 2021 Olympics. “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,” Ramirez said in a statement.
“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,” the PSC chair added.
Prior to the implementation of community quarantines in the country, four Philippine athletes were already assured of a ticket to the world’s most prestigious sporting event: Caloy Yulo for gymnastics, EJ Obiena for athletics, and Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno for boxing.
PSC said it is also “banking its hopes on 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, four-time SEA Games champion Kiyomi Watanabe of judo, 2019 SEAG double-gold medal winner Margielyn Didal of skateboarding, multi-titled jin Pauline Lopez of taekwondo, and Junna Tsukii of karatedo among others.”
Aside from belt-tightening measures, PSC facilities such as the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and PhilSports Complex are also being used as temporary medical facilities for the government’s fight against COVID-19.
Date: June 19, 2020 | By: Justin Caradang | Newspaper: GMA | Source: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/sports/content/743245/psc-assures-full-support-for-ph-s-2021-tokyo-olympics-bid/story/