THE recent meeting between Davao City mayor Sara Zimmerman Duterte and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Ricardo Garcia has brought some ray of hope to the growing sports community such that the wheels have started to roll again on the way to putting into reality a genuine grassroots sports program for Dabawenyos.
Chairman Garcia came to Davao and first met with former PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and Davao City Sports Development Division officer-in-charge Pocholo Elegino who accompanied the country’s top sports official to the lady mayor.
The PSC chief is reaching out to local government unit chief executives like mayor Inday Sara to form a strong partnership in the crafting of a sports program in order to address the alarming problem of only five percent of our youth being into sports and a bothersome six percent are involved in drug addiction.
In order to defeat these problems, the PSC has declared an all out support for LGUs that will translate into a concrete sports program.
According to OIC Elegino, the PSC will soon be signing a memorandum of agreement with the City Government of Cebu which had established a strong sports program years back when the Cebuanos formed the Cebu City Sports Commission.
Elegino said they will hold a strategy meeting that will be facilitated by the mayor’s consultant, Dr. Serge Opena, to put on paper the sports plan that will be presented to mayor Sara for her approval. And if things go as planned, then chairman Garcia will soon be back in Davao to finalize everything with the City Government of Davao.
I can feel that it won’t be long when Davao City and PSC top executives will meet again to affix their signatures on a memorandum of agreement.
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Chairman Garcia and the PSC Board of Commissioners recently sliced the proposed budget of the National Sports Associations by 50 percent.
For this year, the PSC has budgeted P400 million as financial support to the 53 sports organizations based in Manila.
A whopping P800 million was proposed to the sports commission which is currently bogged down by dwindling revenue share from Pagcor.
The big slice does not surprise me because this is one way of sending a message to the NSA heads that they must be resourceful to find their own funding because in the first place, they do the budgeting without even consulting regional heads or city commissioners from the provinces.* * *We have been calling the attention of Manila-based NSA heads to get in touch with their appointed regional heads in the provinces, especially in Davao, because they are part of their sports family. It is just saddening to know that many of them are left on their own, like forgotton sons and daughters, without even financial support in the running of various local tournaments. Good thing, the local sports association representatives were able to get funding from the local government unit that assured them of at least having three regular competitions in a year.
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Happy birthday to editor Jon Joaquin, Singapore girl Ella E. Evangelista, teacher and basketball coach Ronnie Berato, my dear Reynan Librado, my commander and chief’s favorite ace photojournalist Robert Vincent “Bing” Gonzales who just had a very enjoyable PAL Interclub Golf Tournament coverage in CDO and long-time amigo Ariel Macatiog.