ALL THE way to the Tokyo Olympics.
This was the assurance of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez when asked about the extent of support it is ready to give Team Philippiness.
In fact, four Tokyo Olympic qualifiers -- national pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, artistic gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo and national boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno -- are already getting full support in their preparations for the prestigious multi-sports competition.
The PSC is even hoping there will be more Filipino athletes who can get the chance to represent the country..
“We will not waver in our quest to fulfill the country’s Olympic dream and we are very hopeful that more athletes will be able to qualify once the situation gets better,” Ramirez said in a statement.
Ramirez assured that the PSC will support all the athletes for as long as they can, explaining that the investment of both the government and the athletes into their Olympic dream cannot be set aside just that easily.
The PSC said around P1.3 billion of its funds were redirected back to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fund the country’s COVID-19 fight.
By virtue of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, P596 Million, and P773 million were realigned by the DBM from the sports agency’s National Sports Development Fund and the fund from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) according to the PSC statement.
Before the lockdown, the Philippines already had four Tokyo Olympic in Obiena, Yulo, Marcial and Magno.
The government sports agency is also hoping to see 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, four-time SEA Games champion Kiyomi Watanabe of judo, 2019 SEAG double-gold medal winner Margielyn Didal of skateboarding, multi-titled jin Pauline Lopez of taekwondo, and Junna Tsukii of karatedo in the Tokyo-bound team.
Earlier, the PSC was forced to take belt-tightening measures in recent weeks, to be able to cover all commitments.
“It’s a tough situation but we understand the priorities of the national government. We will do what we can to continue the support we give to our athletes especially those vying for an Olympic slot,” added Ramirez.
Aside from financial support, the PSC also continues to provide online sports psychology consultations, virtual training sessions, nutrition, physiology, and conditioning webinars to athletes and coaches through PSC’s Medical Scientific Athletic Services (MSAS) and the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI).