Sports agenda for Mindanao
MONDAY, 02 AUGUST 2010 00:00
by Moses Billacura
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) recently appointed William “Butch” Ramirez as their “go to” guy in Mindanao.
This is an advantage to Mindanao because the former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman has established very good working relations with POC officials for years in the past.
While still with the PSC, Ramirez worked for the realization of the Mindanao Friendship Games, a sports for peace program, that was launched at the beautiful Mindanao Civic Center of former war-torn Tubod, Lanao del Norte in 2001 and established the Mindanao Children’s Games that benefitted children from conflict areas in Central Mindanao with the help of Fr. Romeo S. Saniel, OMI, president of the Notre Dame of Midsayap College and some unnamed concerned Mindanaoans.
But these noble programs, in the natural course of things in our country, were shelved when new people took over the sports agency.
Should members of the sports board not fight for continuation of those programs, then these events geared towards promotion of, and sustaining the work for peace in Mindanao through sports will become history.
Recent reports indicating that there is “peace” between the POC and PSC because of the recent appointment of chairman Ricardo Garcia of Bacolod to head the sports commission, we expect that they will take a second look at Mindanao again.
We are not saying that they should reactivate the sports for peace program in Mindanao, but should they decide to revive the programs, then Butch Ramirez would be more than willing to run things for them.
When chairman Harry Angping succeeded chairman Ramirez, PSC’s Mindanao satellite office operations ceased, local government heads who had felt that the national sports agency’s board of commissioners had showed concern for Mindanao were left out in the cold.
There is an existing organization in Davao City called Sports for Peace Mindanao Inc. and Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) currently runs the Race for Peace event for the second straight year.
The POC and PSC can easily come in and help in the pursuit of peace and development through sports.
But are they willing to include Mindanao in their sports agenda? That’s the proverbial $64 question begging for an inspiring answer.