OUR athletes work so hard and sacrifice a lot, it’s a pity that some would dare milk them for selfish reasons.
Most of our national team members are full-time athletes, yet some of them manage to support a family--or a sibling or two--from their allowance with the national team.
To earn extra, some have enlisted with the armed forces, while others moonlight as coaches.
For athletes, a trip abroad is a welcome development as not only would they get to train abroad, they also get per diem on top of their regular allowances; and that’s what happened with the karatedo team for the Southeast Asian Games. It’s a pity that, if what Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez discovered is true, someone else earned a lot for these athletes’ blood, sweat and tears.
The karatedo team was supposed to get $1,800 for their 20-day training camp, instead they were made to sign for 400 Euros by an official; where the rest of the money went is something for the PSC to discover.
Discover and punish.
You see, things like this have been going on ever since the government started funding the athletes through the PSC. Somewhere along the way, the money intended for the athletes gets slashed--if they’re lucky--or disappears altogether if they’re not. Heck, even referees aren’t spared.
I remember a time a football ref asked me for help since their stipend (in dollars) that they signed for every time they went abroad didn’t go to them. “What could I do?” I asked. And they said that perhaps an article or two in the media would jolt officials to their senses but I told them that the football officials (then) were beyond salvation.
Thankfully, I no longer see them in PFF gatherings, nor do I hear their names.
That was in football.
And in the latest case, this was karatedo, which was made to account for aid given by the government. If they do these with government funds, how do you think do they handle the funds they receive from their international organizations?
Heck, up to now, even Mon himself is asking where the supposed $2,500 aid from the IOC for each Olympian in 2016 went.
I hope the PSC follows through with the probe and punishes whoever needs to be punished. It has to set an example that things like this one aren’t tolerated anymore.
This isn’t your Lolo’s PSC anymore.