STAKEHOLDERS have high hopes as the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Mindanao Office was inaugurated after a ceremonial blessing officiated by San Lorenzo Parish priest Reverend Fr. Joel C. Caasi in Davao City Friday, March 15.
The office is located at the Davao Association of Catholic Schools Compound at Champaca Street, Juna Subdivision in Matina.
Guest Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo lauded PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez for the initiative to put an office in Mindanao as there is already a PSC office based in Cebu City for the Visayas.
“I hope this will gear toward a longer journey, stronger, solid and fruitful one especially in the grassroots; doable sports and achievable programs because this is the thrust of the President in Mindanao,” Encabo said as he recalled President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to the PSC chief early on his administration to bring sports to the grassroots.
He also hopes a better partnership between PMS and PSC in their collaborations for sports development in the regions.
Dacs executive director Jimmie-Loe P. dela Vega, for his part, reminisced Dacs’ good relationship with PSC that goes a long way since Ramirez first became a PSC Commissioner.
“Having established a PSC Mindanao Office, all the more we are happy with even closer and more opportunities for collaboration with PSC,” Dela Vega said.
Ramirez, meanwhile, bared that the new office will “nurture and be a partner” in promoting grassroots sports development.
He said that the office will not be providing all the needs of the sporting community in Mindanao but instead provide coaches education, consultative meetings, talent identification, among other grassroots sports programs.
Ramirez also said that sports for peace programs among children will be the premium focus of the PSC Mindanao office since the conflict-stricken island has long been longing for peace. Thus, instilling early peacemaking among the kids through sports is vital.
“Mindanao is vital and very critical to the country’s peace and progress, so in the next three years we will focus on Mindanao,” the PSC chief added.
PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, for his part, said the PSC satellite office aims to expedite the delivery of services to the people especially in Mindanao.
PSC Mindanao cluster head Eduardo Fernandez, a veteran journalist, is upbeat in bringing sports to more provinces, cities and municipalities in the island.
“We recently came from Midsayap where we conducted Children’s Games and consultative meeting. We will still go to Tawi-Tawi, Ozamis, Basilan and to mnay others. We planning to go to Jolo when the bombings happened. Mindanao is distinct and unique because of challenges. Please help us spread the good news of sports in the country,” Fernandez said.
University of Mindanao sports director Joaquin “Boy Sarabia, Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) 11 treasurer Edgardo Grandeza and Holy Cross of Davao College sports director Rudy Salvador were among the guests who witnessed the activity. (Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan)