I posted an article requesting some help from my readers/visitors which was entitled, “Help Me On This” on insights about the national sports program of the country and the functions of each of the sports entities like the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, DECS, and other sports federations/organizations last 24 May 2008. Councilor Doray Delarmente of Quezon City was the only one who made a comment on this post and she was talking about what office or institution/entity who was responsible in the conduct of the Palarong Pambansa and she admitted that she does not know the relationships of the other sports groups and institutions. I can also surmise that the other readers who did not make any comment/s about the post do not know also the present sports set-up/organization and sports program of the country.
Three weeks ago, I found a book at National Bookstore entitled “The Olympic Movement In The Philippines” by Mr Celso Limjuco Dayrit, appointed as the Commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commision during the incumbency of former President Fidel V. Ramos. This book had been very helpful in answering my questions on the functions of each of the sports entities in the country and the prevailing situation of our national sports program.
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Philippines. Basically, there is only one NOC for every country and the NOC is under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is the governing body of all the Olympic Games. The POC is the sole authority and is responsible for the representation of the Philippines at the Olympic Games, Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games, as well as other events held under the patronage of the IOC. It also arranges for the provision of equipment, transportation, and housing of the national delegation at the Olympic Games, Asian Games, and the Southeast Asian Games.
The POC has its own independent funds and does not receive any subsidy from the government. However, its member NSAs (National Sports Association), receive some financial assistance from the Philippine Sports Commission. The POC supports its own activities with funds generated from sponsorships, licensing fees for the use of the Olympic marks, subsidies from the IOC, and proceeds from special projects and donations. The POC covers all the expenses of sending the Phil Delegation (athletes and officials) to all the Olympic Games.
National Sports Associations (NSAs) are private, non-profit organizations, recognized as the governing body of their sport in their respective countries. It is responsible for the promotion of its respective sports within the country. It also has the responsibility in determining the composition of their respective teams in all international competition. However, when it comes to multi-sports games like the Olympics, Asian or SEA Games, the POC has the prerogative and authority to approve the team recommended by the NSAs. There must be only one NSA per sport in the country which must be accredited by the International Sports Federation (ISF) of such sport activity.
There is no specific NSA for Marathon & Road Races right now in the country as these running events are included in Athletics/Track & Field, thus, the NSA for running events is the Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association (PATAFA). The NSA recruits athletes, taking charge of the preparation, selection, and entry of athletes for international competitions that are held under the authority of their respective ISFs. It recommends to the NOC/POC athletes that are considered prepared and eligible to represent the country in regional, continental, and Olympic multi-sports competitions recognized by the IOC.
Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) was the first organized governing sports organization in the country which was established in 1911 when the country was still under American administration. The growth of amateur sports was due to the passage by the Philippine Legislature in 1925 of Act No. 3262 which empowered the PAAF to promote and encourage the development of all public recreation and amateur athletic facilities in the country. Under this Act, PAAF constructed the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex which was completed in time for the Far Eastern Games in 1934. Because of some reverses in the international meets, there was a need to revise the Charter of the PAAF, thus Republic Act No. 3135 was approved by the President in June 17, 1961 and it gave way to the birth of the different National Sports Associations which were made autonomous and charged with the task of developing and promoting their respective events.
The Department of Youth and Sports Development (DYSD) was created by former President Marcos through PD No. 604 in December 1974 as the new government sports authority. The creation of DYSD replaced and abolished the PAAF and absorbed all its properties, assets and functions. It became later as the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (MYSD) when the country took a parliamentary form of government. The functions of the MYSD were: 1) adopt and enforce a uniform set of rules to determine and govern amateur athletes and sports; 2) develop or maintain recreational facilities and a modern sports complex, adequate for major international sports competitions; and 3) administer the existing National College of Physical Education (Do we have this one right now?)
Project Gintong Alay (PGA) was created by virtue of Letter of Instructions No. 955 directing the MYSD to implement the said project which was conceived to report directly to the Office of the President and it had the main objective to centralize all development programs of Athletics (Track & Field) events in the country. Michael M Keon was designated as its Executive Director, a nephew of former President Marcos, and he was a track & field athlete during his student days in Australia. Due to the significant improvements of the track & field athletes as a result of the intensive training program & facilities of the Project Gintong Alay (PGA), former President Marcos expanded the scope of the project in all the sports on May 19, 1980. PGA was geared towards the preparation of athletes to represent the country in various international competitions.
Through the Project Gintong Alay, Keon was the first to implement the “training camp” concept in a higher altitude place among the ASEAN nations. The construction of a modern track & field in Baguio City; housing facilities for the athletes at Teacher’s Camp; free education/scholarship in any college & university in Baguio City to all the athletes; free books; free food; supervised by international coaches, and regular financial support resulted to the “golden age of Philippine Sports” in our international sports competitions in the early 80s. Unfortunately, this concept/project just vanished after the EDSA People’s Revolt in 1986 during the incumbency of former President Aquino and most of our ASEAN neighboring countries “adopted” this “training camp” concept in higher altitudes to include Vietnam. The results of our standing in the last Southeast Asian Games would show that Vietnam, a war-ravaged country, had overtaken us in sports.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) was created by law, Republic Act No. 6847, by former President Aquino on January 24, 1990 and it took over as the government’s sports agency of the country up to the present. The Project Gintong Alay’s assets, properties/facilities, functions, and funding were absorbed by the PSC. PSC was provided with an initial apropriation of P 25M from the National Treasury and every year after, the PSC is granted an annual appropriation from the General Appropriations Act and sourced directly from the Department of Budget and Management. PSC is also mandated to finance the country’s integrated sports development program, including the holding of the national games and other sports competitions at all levels throughout the country as well as the country’s participation at international sports competitions, such as the Olympic Games, Asian and ASEAN Games and other international competitiones sanctioned by the IOC and the ISFs.
The following are provided as the PSC’s “National Sports Development Fund”:
1) Thirty percent (30%) representing the charity fund of the proceeds of six (6) sweepstakes or lottery draws per annum
2) Taxes on horse races during special holidays
3) Five percent (5%) of the gross income of the Philppine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)
4) The proceeds from the sale of stamps as herein provided;
5) Three percent (3%) of all the taxes collected on imported athletic equipment.
But, where is the beef? Why do we have to pay to use the PSC’s Sports Facility at Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City? Since I haven’t tried running at the ULTRA track, I really don’t know if anybody pays something to use this facility.
The Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), when still the Bureau of Education in 1911, was a founding member of the Phil Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) and in 1948, the Bureau of Public Schools of the Department of Education organized the Bureau of Public Schools Interscholastic Athletic Association and it conducted an annual National Interscholastic Competition from 1948 to 1973 whose venues were rotated in different provinces. This later became as the Palarong Pambansa in 1973 which was institutionalized as a regular function of the Department of Education, thus later integrated both Culture and Sports as main functions of the Department and later became as the Department of Education, Culture & Sports. The Palaro was stopped from 1984 to 1987 but it was later revived in 1988 until 2000. Former President Estrada, through Executive Order #81, transferred the functions of the Palarong Pambansa to the Philippine Sports Commission. The DECS retained its role in the promotion of physical education to its student population.
The Local Governments are also involved in our sports program by virtue of an Executive Order No. 63 which was signed by former President Ramos on March 1, 1993 which created the Physical Fitness and Sports Development Councils (PFSDC) at all levels—national, regional, provincial, city and municipal. It acts as the national organization network to assist the PSC in planning, information dissemination, and implementation and monitoring of the national policy and program of Sports For All.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines & Philippine National Police conducts an annual multi-games sports event called “AFP-PNP Olympics”. However, most of the athletes competing in this event are our national elite athletes who were enlisted in the service as soldiers/policemen. Former President Marcos, through the Project Gintong Alay, directed most of our elite athletes to be enlisted to the AFP, thus, up to the present, the AFP pays for their monthly financial support depending on their ranks. (Examples: Elma Muros & Onyok Velasco were enlisted (but had retired) in the Philippine Navy; Vertek Buenavista is with Philippine Air Force; Cris Sabal is with the Philippine Army and others)
With these information I gathered from the book of Mr Dayrit, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is the government’s agency whose responsibility is to plan, implement and oversee an integrated amateur sports promotion and development program for the country in coordination with the POC, the NSAs, the public & private schools, government corporation & entities, the local governments, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other sports organizations and private corporations. PSC is also responsible in preparing our national elite athletes to compete in multi-sports competitions like the Olympics, Asian and South East Asian Games in coordination with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
The 29th Olympic Summer Games will be held in Beijing, China starting on August 8, 2008, one month and five days to go. After the Olympic Games, the same “drill or exercise” will be heard, read, and seen in the media again—who is to blame why our athletes were not able to win a single Gold Medal in the Olympics again? Such criticism will be compounded if Cambodia or Vietnam or Myanmar will win its first Olympic Gold Medal ahead of us.
“Citius, Altius, Fortius”