BUTCH Ramirez is at it again. And I like it.

The chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has reiterated his pledge a while back: That he favors Filipinos over foreigners coaching our athletes.

What a noble move, I said then.

And I am going to say it again: Brilliant!

Why we always treat our homegrown coaches as second-class is an aberration worse than believing Marcos did not steal our money amounting to no less than P10 billion under his one-man, 14-year rule from 1972 to 1986.

Filipino coaches get only P40,000 each a month compared to foreign coaches’ P100,000 apiece a month, plus free board and lodging.

And look at this: Some Filipino trainers and coaches receive P20,000 each a month—a pittance fee to say the least.

No wonder many of our talented coaches/trainers fly overseas for the same job that pays them almost equal to that of what foreign coaches receive here.

If Lydia de Vega, the one-time sprints queen of Asia, is still working in Singapore as an athletics coach, I cannot blame her.

There are many more de Vegas out there, scattered all across Asia, including the Middle East.

This national shame has got to end now. I’m glad that Butch Ramirez has made this courageous crusade to uplift the Filipino coach’s spirit.

“We can give our own coaches P75,000 each or even P100,000 a month,” he said. “We are willing to invest for them to become full-time coaches.”

It is no secret that many of our coaches aren’t working full-time simply because of low pay, forcing them into a two-job life.

Admittedly, athletes won’t be at their best when handled by part-time coaches.

“But in return for an increased pay, we expect our coaches to produce quality athletes,” Butch said.

Makes sense.

“If we can pay a foreign coach big money and we see his wards without a gold medal, I’ll take my chances with a Filipino coach,” Butch said.

His primordial condition?

“Our Filipino coach must dress well and talk like an excellent coach,” he said. “No drinking of alcohol, no womanizing and should dedicate much of his time to the athletes. If he can’t do that, he’s out of the national team.”

I am with you 101 percent, Mr. Chairman.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)