Ramon Fernandez to be appointed Philippine Sports Commission OIC

A four-time PBA MVP is set to temporarily take over the Philippine Sports Commission.

Commissioner Ramon Fernandez — the first PBA player to achieve the distinction in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988 — is expected to be named officer-in-charge of the government sports agency by Malacañang in place of chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

Ramirez earlier filed a leave of absence to look after his ailing and diabetic wife, who underwent gall bladder surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Taguig City, according to Fernandez.

“The surgery went well and the Ramirezes returned to their quarters at the PhilSports Complex last Saturday,” Fernandez said. “We pray for the swift recovery of chairman Butch’s wife and wish them well.”

Based in Cebu City, which continues to be under the national government’s enhanced community quarantine due to the spike of COVID-19 cases there, Fernandez said in a phone interview on Saturday he hopes to get a plane back to Manila early next week.

“We hope to get our formal appointment papers from Malacañang by then,” he said.

The PSC is an agency directly under the Office of the President. 

“When I get back there, I will be under 14-day quarantine and confined to my quarters in isolation (at the PhilSports complex in Pasig),” he added. “But this won’t be a problem because we have an office at Philsports and I can conduct my functions from there.”

Fernandez said he hopes to have a meeting with fellow commissioners Celia Kiram, Charles Maxey and Engr. Arnold Agustin “to brush up on urgent matters and see what paperwork needs to be done while the chairman is away.”

Among these, he said, was the possibility of allowing some of the Olympic hopefuls in combat sports to resume training within the PhilSports Complex after Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino announced last week he would bat for the resumption of their actual training, including sparring.

Among those that Tolentino mentioned were the athletes in boxing, fencing, karate and taekwondo, who are still aspiring to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. 

“The fencers already have a training area in PhilSports ,while karate also has a room inside Building F where they can train. We will also find a location for the taekwondo Olympic aspirants to train so they can practice physical distancing,” Fernandez said.

“But we will require all the athletes and their respective coaches to undergo COVID-19 testing before they can actually train,” he added. “Of course, we will coordinate all these activities with the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of the pandemic before we push through with them.

“This is what we have been doing from the very beginning in the first place. We just have to continue doing that. ”

The 66-year-old PSC official said “priority talaga ang survival ngayon. (Our priority is really survival). We just have to follow the right protocols. No overconfidence in facing this pandemic.”

Fernandez said he looked forward to his new job, drawing from his experience as a successful sports star and entrepreneur.

“Like I tell young children in my speaking engagements that the values you learn in playing sports – teamwork, honesty, hard work dedication and discipline – are the same values you apply in being successful in life,” he said. “You must think of the consequences of your actions and not make hasty decisions.

“Decide what’s good for the majority. Not for yourself but for the good of others and the good of the organization you serve.” 

Date: June 28, 2020 | By: Manolo Pedralvez | Newspaper: ABS CBN | Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/06/27/20/ramon-fernandez-to-be-appointed-philippine-sports-commission-oic