MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is coming up with new policies particularly pertaining to the issuance of allowances for national athletes who are training and competing overseas.
Atty. Sannah Frivaldo, PSC executive director, yesterday said from now on, such allowances will be deposited directly to the accounts of the national athletes.
“The money will go directly to the athletes and not the NSA (national sports association),” said Frivaldo during a press conference at the PSC administrative building.
Also in the press conference were PSC commissioners Ramon Fernandez and Charles Maxey, PSC lawyer Dennis Apostol and deputy executive-director Rachel Dumuk.
The new policies to be instituted by the PSC come in the aftermath of the controversy involving athletes and officials of the Philippine Karatedo Association (PKF).
Last year, a dozen members of the Philippine karatedo team underwent a 20-day training in Germany, accompanied by their coaches and PKF secretary-general Raymond Lee Reyes.
But long after the trip, the athletes complained and alleged before the PSC that they did not receive the full amount of the $1,800 that was approved by the PSC to each athlete.
The athletes claimed they only received $470 each. Reyes said no money was lost, adding that the rest of the money was spent for the other needs of the delegation for 20 days.
But the PSC looked deeper into the allegations and sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Frivaldo said the case directly involves Reyes, and not PKF president Jose Romasanta, who has openly welcomed the PSC investigation.
The PSC also questioned the liquidation report filed by Reyes, and found “inconsistencies.”
For the said trip, the PSC approved hotel allowances of $85 per night per person but the athletes claimed that during their stay, there were as many as three to six of them in one room. The PSC also approved a budget of $2,800 for van rentals that would have taken the athletes to and from the airport to their hotel, training venues and tournaments and seminars.
The athletes claimed that most of them stay in Germany, they either used public transport or walked 10 to 15 minutes to the train station and back, and that they only rode a rented van only once during their stay.
“The allegations are very serious and we at the PSC are mandated to correct things,” said Maxey.
Frivaldo said appropriate steps have been taken, including the suspension of financial assistance to the PKF, and placing the NSA under suspension, and is barred from holding office at the PSC-controlled Philsports Arena in Pasig. Appropriate charges will be filed soon.
“But the PSC will continue to support the athletes,” said Fernandez.