THE House of Representa­tives on Thursday promised to support the country’s Tokyo Olympics bid by heeding the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) request for a P182-million funding for the campaign. As this developed, the PSC released also on Thursday allowances for national team members—july for athletes and para athletes and June and July for coaches.

It could be recalled that the PSC withheld releasing allowances to national team members as it fortified its salary systsem following the illegal siphoning of bogus allowances by a former employee who is now facing criminal charges.

House Committee on Youth and Sports Developmen­t Head Rep. Eric Martinez gave PSC Chairman William Ramirez the assurance that the legislator­s would work on the funding for the Olympics-bound athletes and those who are seeking qualificat­ion for the postponed Games.

“We are one of those government agencies that contribute­d to the Bayanihan Act,” said Ramirez, adding the Department of Budget and Management channeled the PSC’S P596 million from the National Sports Developmen­t Fund and P773 million from General Appropriat­ions to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That amount is very significan­t for the

PSC primarily because we are in the cusp of the Olympics,” he said.

Chef de Mission to Tokyo Mariano Araneta prepared the P182 million budget for the training and preparatio­n of qualified athletes Carlos Yulo (gymnastics), EJ Obiena (pole vault), Eumir Felix Marcial (boxing) and Irish Magno (boxing).

Ramirez also cited the effort of Cavite Eight District Rep. Abraham “Bambol”tolentino, also president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, for including P180 million in the Bayanihan Act 2.

“Rep. Bambol Tolentino supported the inclusion of P180 million in the Bayanihan Act 2 so that our national athletes and coaches will again be receiving their allowances in full,” he said.

National team members, including the Olympics qualifiers, are receiving half of their monthly allowances since June after the PSC’S remittance­s from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. were drasticall­y cut from an average of P125 million to only P7 million a month because casinos remain closed.

“Rest assured, we will do our part to get the funding for this Olympics. All hands are in,”martinez told Ramirez during the committee hearing on Wednesday.“we in the House will discuss this with the DBM and schedule it the soonest because the athletes need that budget for the Olympics.”

Araneta also informed the committee that 21 athletes are training abroad, while 65 others are training in the country and that a total of 82 athletes still have the chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic qualifiers in many of the sports on Tokyo’s program would end in June next year. The Olympics are set July 23 to August 8 in 2021.

PSC National Training Director Marc Velasco also said that the PSC is in the process of preparing specialize­d health protocols and identifyin­g at least six multipurpo­se facilities as training venues for the Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls.

Velasco said that Bases Conversion Developmen­t Authority President Vince Dizon also offered to cover the swab testing of the athletes.

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