DESPITE the continued attack against him, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Harry Angping said he remains hopeful the agency’s relationship with the POC gets better for the sake of the athletes and Philippine sports.

Angping, who is just one year into the government’s sports agency, finally broke his silence amid POC allegations that they were remiss on their mandated duty during the 25th Laos Sea Games last Dec. 9 to 19.

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Contrary to the allegations by Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco, the former Manila solon, Angping, said they recognize the autonomy and expertise of the National Sports Associations in the selection and development of athletes.

Respect

However, he urged Cojuangco to also respect the PSC’s prerogative to choose who among the athletes will qualify in the funding program by the government to ensure judicious spending of the people’s money.

“It is very sad that the POC executives displayed utmost ignorance by attacking us with their baseless and malicious accusations. But despite their never-ending bickering, we remain hopeful that the relationship between the PSC and the POC will get better,” said Angping.

Nothing to talk about

Angping’s comment came several weeks after Cojuangco openly refused to patch up things, saying there is nothing to talk about with the PSC in a planned meeting brokered by top officials of the Philippine Sportswriters Association.

He belied claims by the POC executive board over the lack of support to the athletes and coaches, citing the monthly allowances, health care benefits through PSCSM, dormitories and training facilities throughout their year-long preparations for the Sea Games.

Other assistance extended by the PSC, said Angping, include competition equipment and supplies, $100 additional pocket money on top of the $30 per day allowance and the payment of participation fees.

“The POC and almost all national sports associations are benefitting from ‘free-of-charge’ prime office spaces including basic utilities and services such as water, electricity, security and janitorial personnel,” he pointed out.

Credits

After Team Philippines settled for 5th place, which at least improved on their 6th place finish in 2007, all the credit went to the athletes and the team, while nothing was claimed by the PSC, he stressed.

“”It was pure passion to excel and commitment on the part of the athletes that brought the success. If there is anybody that deserves credit, it is our national athletes,” said Angping, who was not extended by the POC an invitation to join the team in Vientiane, Laos.