BAGUIO

Ramirez: Safety protocols in place to safeguard SEA Games funds



PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez Wednesday, July 31, explained the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games budget’s process of disbursement assuring the public that safety protocols have been put in place to ensure judicious and proper use of public funds.

Ramirez said that all parties involved: the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) and the PSC are all working together on their roles in the country’s hosting of the biennial event, “we have the country’s best interest in mind”.

July saw a Philippine sports in turmoil, with leadership disputes and confusion all muddled in politics. One entity in the equation stood unwavering. The government through the PSC let its intentions come clear from the very beginning. “As instructed by the president, we shall shield the athletes to allow them to focus on their training, assist in the country’s hosting of the games by ensuring the proper and timely processing of funds, “said Ramirez.

In the present set-up, The Department of Budget and Management manages the disbursement of funds and, together with the Procurement Service, purchases of equipment, fixtures and other requirements for the Games.

The PSC receives a request from the PHISGOC, with supporting papers such as the board resolution of its officers approving the said request, in effect making the PSC an initial line of check and balance. It is the DBM that has the final say whether certain transactions pass its thorough evaluation, before it is given a go to process.

They will also be required to clear previous releases before new funding is released. This is the same policy the PSC applies to national sports associations to avoid unliquidated accounts.

Out of the three parties, the PSC being a government entity, has the burden of accountability. “This is why we are one of the most invested in ensuring that everything is above-board, it is our signatures on the documents. “ explained the sports chief adding that they have explained to PHISGOC that the PSC must work within the existing auditing and accounting rules in their transaction.

After the unity meeting held July 24 at the Malacañang Palace, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea formed a monitoring group for the games, composed of Atty Kim Raissa Uy from his office, Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo of the Presidential Management Staff and PSC Executive Director Merlita Ibay. The group will report weekly to Medialdea.

In his meeting last week with Ramon Suzara and Tom Carrasco, Phisgoc COO and Executive Director respectively, Ramirez gave them PSC commitment of cooperation encouraging them that “if there are problems, share them with us, ‘wag niyo solohiin, para magkasama tayo humanap ng solusyon.”

The agency truly embodies the purpose of government to serve as a steady and sold anchor for its public, in this case, for Philippine sports. (PR)


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