Philippine Olympic Committee chief to lobby for PH athletes' allowances
MANILA, Philippines – If the allowances of national athletes continue to get slashed, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino will resort to using his role in the Congress.
As the Tagaytay City representative, Tolentino said that he would lobby to restore the full monthly allowance of the national athletes that were cut because of the low remittances of the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation (Pagcor) to the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).
"Not as POC president, but as a member of the House of Representatives, we’ll try to give back the amount that was taken from Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) NSDF that was returned to the national treasury for COVID-19 use," announced Tolentino on Monday, June 22, during the Olympic Day online press conference.
He estimated that NSDF suffered a total loss of P500-700 million, as the amount was reapproriated back to the Department of Budget and Management for the country's coronavirus pandemic efforts.
If Pagcor's future remittances still cannot cover the allowance cut, Tolentino hopes to include national athletes and coaches as beneficiaries in the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2.
"I’ll lobby for it. We’ll try to return [the allowances] in this coming second Bayanihan Act," said Tolentino.
However, the Senate approved the bill only on second reading, while Bayanihan 2 has not yet even been sponsored for second reading approval in the House.
Malacañang wanted Congress to extend the Bayanihan law, but the Bayanihan 2 bill is not an emergency powers bill.
Unless President Rodrigo Duterte decides to call for a special session, lawmakers will take up the bill once Congress reopens for the second regular session on July 27. – Rappler.com