The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) leadership welcomed yesterday the partnership of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in line with the agency’s drive to protect public funds from being used unlawfully by national sports associations.

But POC president Ricky Vargas told the Bulletin that while he lauds PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez on the tie-up with the DOJ, there are factors that ought to be given weight.


“My view is, it is generally positive but certain considerations must be made – current unliquidated funds must be collected, no ifs or buts,” Vargas said in a text message.


Many NSAs nowadays are no longer controlled by the same set of individuals who used to lead them and Vargas maintains that “long-term (10+ years) uncollected funds should be written off so athletes and NSA programs are not affected, especially since 2019 is both Olympic qualifying and SEA games year.”


Still, Vargas insists that “collection should be done within legal parameters and past leadership responsible for failure to liquidate, must be held accountable.”


The PSC, which was created in 1990, Vargas notes “should also look at its role critically, as to the causes why unliquidated funds occur. Sometimes it could be for lack of procurement governance, for example.”


The PSC, he said, should not put the entire blame on the NSAs alone.


“PSC must show resolve in prosecuting the cases against those responsible for the problem and not shield itself by punishing the NSAs.”


Last Wednesday, Ramirez formally signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DOJ, represented in the signing by Assistant Secretary Margaret Castillo-Padilla.


Vargas strongly feels that “both (PSC and NSAs) are accountable, [and] it cannot be only one in this situation of unliquidated funds. The one that governs must take some responsibility, and should seek a balance in terms of justice for all stakeholders, especially the athletes. They (the athletes) must be protected from the misdeeds
of leadership.”


Through the years, countless NSAs have depended mainly on the generosity of the PSC and Ramirez said during the formal signing with the DOJ that funds released should properly be accounted for since these are taxpayers’ money and so must be spent wisely.




Date: December 21, 2018 | By: Nick Giongco | Newspaper: Manila Bulletin | Source: