Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association

Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA)

For the past months, the following questions had been playing in my mind whenever I have my running workouts and during my participation in weekend road races in Metro Manila and in other provinces:

1)      Why is it that there are so many road races every weekend up to the point that at least four road races are being conducted in one day? Is there an instituion or body who should be controlling all of these races?

2)      Why is it that there is no uniform registration fee for every road race? Who should be responsible in controlling the registration fee of every road race?

3)      Who are the registered and authorized “road organizers”? Who controls the prolifiration of road organizers in the country?

4)      Why is it that there are so many running “coaches”? Are these running “coaches” certified and have a permit/s to operate their coaching business? Who controls their “coaching fees”?

5)      What is the organization or institution that covers and governs everything about road races and running in the country?

6)      Who is going to inspect and determine the presence and quality of support system ( like water, security, medical & emergency needs) to be given to runners during road races?

7)      Who determines or certifies a road race if the distance is precise and accurate?

8)      Who gives sanctions to race organizers where there are reported cases of stealing  and other criminal acts committed during road races?

Through my research, I found out that the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) is the international governing body for Athletics (track and field sports, to include road races) and in among member nations/countries, a National Athletics Federation is the governing body for Athletics. In the Philippines, IAAF’s national athletics federation is the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association which is simply called PATAFA. The PATAFA is so powerful that everything that happens in Athletics in the country should happen under the authority of the federation and nothing should be organized without the approval of the federation. It has a great power and at the same time has a great responsibility!

The roles of PATAFA are:

1)      To lead and serve the Federation

2)      To manage all aspects of Athletics

3)      To build on past successes

4)      To ensure a financial basis for present and future activities

5)      To act as guardian of the values of the sport and have the responsibility to set an example and promote these values to the benefit of Athletics.

The following are the functions and obligations of the PATAFA:

A)     On Governance

1)      To be responsible for all aspects of Athletics in the country.

2)      To promote the sport of Athletics and the development of an Athletics Culture.

3)      To provide an appropriate administrative structure and services for the functioning of the Federation and the sport.

4)      To maintain an official list of National Records.

5)      To undertake proceedings against athletes who have rendered themselves ineligible and to impose sanctions where appropriate.

6)      To undertake proceedings against any individual who may have violated the rules of the Federation and to impose sanctions.

B)      On Resources

1)      To obtain and manage the financial, human and technical resources required for the functioning of the Federation.

2)      To set budgets and maintain financial records.

3)      To control expenses.

4)      To arrange for an audit of financial statements.

C)      On Communications

1)      To maintain good relations with and appropriate information to athletes and members of the Federation.

2)      To maintain good relations with the government office responsible for sports and other organizations which have an interest in Athletics or may be of assistance to the Federation.

3)      To maintain good relations with the media in order to ensure the positive promotion of the sport and the Federation’s activities.

D)     On Competitions

1)      To promote the development of a program of competitions including national championships.

2)      To select and organize teams to participate in international competitions.

3)      To maintain a national calendar of Athletics competitions.

4)      To provide official sanctions for competitions including those organized by other parties.

E)      On Facilities and Equipment

1)      To ensure that competition venues and equipment meet the technical specifications mandated by national and international rules.

2)      To guarantee the accurate measurements of road courses used for running and race walking competitions.

F)      On Officials and Coaches

1)      To oversee the recruitment, training, certification, deployment and control of the athletic officials and coaches required to carry out the programs and activities of the sports.

G)     On Medical & Scientific

1)      To plan and coordinate the delivery od sports medicine services to athletes.

2)      To plan and coordinate the delivery of scientific services to coaches and athletes.

3)      To ensure that a doping control program is implemented in accordance with the rules of the IAAF and relevant national regulations.

To confirm all these items I’ve researched, I arranged for an appointment with our country’s President of the PATAFA, Mr Go Teng Kok and I was able to meet and talk to him lengthily about the prevailing situation of athletics and road racing in the country. He confirmed such powers of PATAFA and also admitted that he lacks the resources to implement the rules and regulations/proper administration of Road Races in the country. I presented to him the “projects/programs” that I’ve been doing since I was the Program Director of the DND-AFP Fintong Pangarap for Marathon two years ago and as the “Bald Runner” for the past year. He was surprised to know all these projects. After almost 1 ½ hours of conversation, he asked my assistance for the implementation of the rules and regulations in road racing, of which I accepted on a consultation basis, I think!


Mr Go Teng Kok, Bald Runner & Coach Andaya of FEU at the PATAFA Office

So, to all the Road Organizers, Coaches & “coaches”, Race Sponsors, and the road racers, you know already that there is somebody “up there” who should be supervising us and putting some “sanity” to those numerous weekend races and who should be able to look for each runner’s welfare while participating in a road race.


23 thoughts on “Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association

  1. sfrunner

    Hi Sir Jovie. Thank you for sharing this. I was wondering if there was an amateur governing body in the Philippines. Definitely, it’s good that all runners know about what you posted here.

    What you’re doing is a good start. Take care and have a good weekend!


  2. kingofpots

    wayne, this is the counterpart of your USATF which is your country’s sports federation for Athletics and I know you have a very “organized & powerful” body that supervises all athletic activities to include the masters & women’s competitions. merry x’mas & happy new year!


  3. Very informative and well meaning. Hopefully PATAFA would be able to address the issues this coming 2009. Further, I pray that all concern parties within the running community shall have an open heart and mind to collectively work for an organized procedure for the sport we all love. Great things to work at for the year 2009.


  4. runnerforchrist

    Very informative BR! Nowadays, organizing a racing event is a lucrative business and since many are hooked to it, runners don’t mind how much is the registration fee just to have a good run. Amount is not uniform, to think that the event/s are almost the same. Safety of runners are always at stake. Just imagine, Last year during the milo elimination in Manila, our van was ransacked, wallets, cellphones, foods…After running 42 kms, and we’re so tired and hungry, only to find out our possessions were gone. We reported it to the nearby police station, took us another 2 hours of unclear investigation, and until now, culprits are on the loose.
    Things like that will be eliminated If the role of the governing bodies are clear and in place…It’s nice that it’s being brought up.
    God bless BR!


  5. bugobugo

    i hope that there would be a formal organization for all race organizers.or at the least,they all sit down together one time so that they can avoid multiple races on a sunday/saturday.

    we are such a small running community here and it is sad to see a race without the usual sro crowd.while each has his own agenda,i hope that it will be for the interest of runners after all that they are after.if they want to maximize attendance,they should at least coordinate with each other and compromise if they must.

    a little push and shove won’t the end,one race on a saturday and sunday will ensure attendance.and a sure fire box office hit for the organizer.IF they unite.


  6. kingofpots

    amado, PATAFA has to be aggressive in showing its power and authority to the running community. i hope i could be a “catalyzer” for them to pursue their mandated mission, objectives and tasks.

    rfc, PATAFA should see to it that road organizers should take responsibility for the security of the runners and their cars.

    jonel, there is no need for an association of road organizers. it should be the PATAFA who should be the controlling body for all road organizers. there should be somebody there (with guts & “balls”) who should be “whipping” these road race organizers. do you like to volunteer?


    1. kingofpots

      thanks! since nobody is brave enough to take the initiative of improving the running situation of the country, i think i could do something for the good of everybody. who knows we could encourage more to run and involve themselves into an active and healthy lifestyle.


    1. kingofpots

      dr joe, nice idea. there is a need for every runner to be registered as a member of the PATAFA which should be the case and get some discounts from their registration fees and ranked from among all the runner-members.

      jerry, your gifts are waiting for you. enjoy your vacation & the holidays.

      vener, every road race should be sanctioned by PATAFA for the welfare and protection of each runner during road races


  7. loonyrunner

    most of the runs are considered “fun runs” only. it would be nice if we would have a series of PATAFA-sanctioned runs where runners will be given points depending on their finishing times. at the end of the year, the top guys duke it out in one final run! something similar to the grand prix events of the IAAF 😀


  8. edebelenmd

    Thank you sir BR for your efforts to improve running in our country!

    I saw you at Patakbo Sa Kabundukan yesterday along with some familiar faces. I read from Bugobugo’s blog that the 21k route had a pretty accurate distance based on his Garmin. Sadly, I could not say the same for the 10k route as a lot of 10k runners shared the sentiment lamenting that the course was longer by almost 3 km approximately, as none had GPS devices or footpods. Also, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of water stations, inadequate road closures, and absence of portalets.

    I’ve just started joining road races a few months ago, but I think that there should be at least a minimum set of standards for road races: 1. Runners’ safety/Road closures, 2. Road signs/marshals on turns, 3. Adequate hydration stations, 4. Portalets, and 5. A decent measure of the race route.


  9. kingofpots

    you are right & it should be the PATAFA who should be looking on these things and give warnings or sanctions to race organizers who could not give quality support to races.


  10. This is a good initiative BR. I agree that road races should meet a certain requirement to be able to hold a decent road race. While there have been a lot of exciting races every weekend in the metro this year, many of them have also fell below expectations even in just the simple and common details like water and marshalls. I hope this will be improved in the years to come.

    It also looks like road races is a lucrative business but I would disagree. Many times, the organizers and its beneficiaries have a hard time meeting their goals.


  11. Pingback: A spoiled runner, well-organized races make. « erkdb

  12. quicksilverrunner

    Hi BR,

    I apologize for coming into this discussion late. I must say having standards with regards to road races is good. The race directors in the U.S. tend to be runners, and are part of the large network of runners either formally or informally. They get plenty of feedback that way.

    I also know that U.S. race organizers actually do get together to talk about things that are important to them and share ideas regarding races in general. I recommend that, absent a governing body, open discussions between organizers will more often improve the quality of races.

    As runners, your feedback to the race organizers also help them to get better. So write away! I call it complaining constructively. As far as cost of entry, I’m afraid it is what the market will bear. No one will show if it gets too expensive, but they probably can’t hold the race if the entrance doesn’t cover the bare necessities. I doubt very much that organizers make much money doing races; you have to pay for everything–medals, permits, supplies, administrative costs, etcetera.

    Have a great day,



  13. caloyn

    Great initiative, BR! Probably, we can also help the organizers of both the Quezon City & Subic International marathon to agree on a better event spacing (At least a good 1 month) ? Their skeds are 1 week from one another & its a shame if we have to choose one over the other.


  14. kingofpots

    jinoe, i hope patafa would control the schedule of road races here in metro manila making one road race every weekend.

    qs, that’s true. the race organizers should heed to the comments & critique of the runners.

    caloy, i believe that patafa should be called for advise regarding the schedule of races. thanks


  15. Hi BR. I still have mixed feelings in controlling the number of races in a week. Limiting it to one will translate to 52 races in a year only. This is good knowing that might be 52 well organized races.

    But sayang naman for the smaller races that aims to race funds for a good cause. And more races means more runners, more exposure, more choices. Sayang naman ang chance namin for a podium finish if we limit it to once per week and all the elite runners will be there to always snatch the medals. 😀


    1. kingofpots

      jinoe, nobody is preventing the road organizers to do their races also on saturdays and during national and special holidays. i wonder also why nobody is considering doing their races in the late afternoon (5:00-6:00 PM) during saturdays & sundays for 10K and shorter races only. if you want to experience a podium finish, you train hard for it and you might end up a winner in your age category. up to this time, “races for good causes” in the country is still a misnomer to me unless the race organizer is “transparent” enough to tell the runners or public how much did the race earn and had given to the said “cause”/benificiaries.


  16. Hello everyone, I was wondering if someone could send me some contact information for me as I am looking into possibly representing the Philippines at the World Junior Track and Field CHampionships this year in Barcelona, Spain. An e-mail of a national level coach or someone who could provide me with sufficent information on making this happen would be greatly appreciated. I am from Canada and I am looking to get a dual citizenship as my mother is Filipino and has a dual citizenship as well. I am currently ranked #2 in Canada for the Triple Jump as a Junior (Under19) and I was #3 in the Country last year (Under19). Please if anyone can, try to help me out. Thank you!


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