PSC, STI forge pact for athletes’ education
By: Bong Pedralverz(Malaya)

NATIONAL athletes can now avail of four-year college scholarships after the Philippine Sports Commission and the Systems Technological Institute College signed an agreement yesterday at the newly-inaugurated PSC conference room at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

“Partnering with STI will be a great help to our athletes,” said PSC chairman Richie Garcia. “It will not only provide further knowledge but more so will help them become better members of society.”

“The PSC and STI hope this partnership will help many of our athletes who are often away (to compete overseas) from their respective families and don’t have enough means to support themselves,” said Commissioner Iggy Clavecilla.

STI president and CEO Monico Jacob pointed out the agreement “is the continuation of our support to sports development in the country, through the PSC. We are aware there will come a time when athletes can no longer jump, run, and compete.

“If we don’t take care of their future today, we will find retired athletes incapable of providing a livelihood for their families.”

Jacob and Garcia disclosed they are reviving a partnership that started in 2004 under then PSC chairman Eric Buhain whose scope was limited to two-year courses.

Under the latest agreement, STI will provide P10-million worth of four-year scholarships to all courses offered by the institution, among them Information Technology, Health Care, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Engineering and Arts and Sciences, in all its branches nationwide.

PSC employees can also apply for partial scholarships for their dependents at 20 percent off the regular tuition rates while STI has also offered them specialized IT training for free annually.

Realizing the importance of a earning a college education, the government sports agency has formed a monitoring group geared to help athletes secure scholarships and finish their degrees, Garcia said.

The school will also provide computer equipment for PSC-organized events when needed, Garcia added.