ON AUGUST 5 to 21, 12 athletes will compete for flag and country in the 2012 Rio Olympics.
They are flag bearer Ian Lariba of table tennis; Mary Joy Tabal, Filipino-American Eric Shauwn Cray, and Marestella Torres Sunang of athletics; Charly Suarez and Rogen Ladon of boxing; Miguel Luis Tabuena of golf; Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuña of swimming; Kirstie Elaine Alora of taekwondo; and Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia of weightlifting.
Everybody else lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s gracious hosting of the Rio-bound delegation through a simple send-off rites at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang Palace last Monday. The president also boosted the morale of the athletes with an inspiring message, "pagbutihin kahit mahirap". He was applauded more when he vowed to triple the allowances of athletes and coaches from US$1,000 to US$3,000 while delegation officials will be happier with US$5,000 from the original US$3,000.
Duterte's gesture was indeed a welcome relief for the sporting community who has been clamoring for genuine care from the government.
But what irked most stakeholders, among other concerned Filipinos, was how come officials get more of the budget than those athletes who will really be the ones seeing action in the world's bigget sporting spectacle?
Are the officials competing to bring home the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in the Olympics?
A Sun.Star Davao source said that the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) had prepared the budget or program design for the country's participation to the Rio Games and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) provided the funding for it.
The new set of PSC board, headed by former Davao City Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge William “Butch” Ramirez, however, could no longer do something to make changes.
Ramirez, after all, was just sworn into office by Duterte last June 30 when the documents for the Rio delegates were already finalized.
For the record, Ramirez and his board of commissioners are not joining the Philippines’ delegation to Rio.
Well, hoping against hope that POC officials heading the country's contingent will make good of the taxpayers’ money given to them. Perhaps, spend their allowances for the athletes and coaches who are the ones who will be working hard to give glory for the country. These officials won't have no business going to Rio if the athletes did not qualify, right. So give more credit to those who best deserve it.