MANILA, Philippines - Looking to go full blast on grassroots projects next year, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is seeking an increase in its P165 million allocation in the proposed P1.645 trillion 2011 national budget and the remittance of its full share from the income of state-run casinos.
PSC chairman Richie Garcia stressed the need for more funding in 2011, especially with the planned revival of the Batang Pinoy and National Games jousts, before the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development the other day during a presentation of the PSC’s programs and budgetary requirements.
Based on the proposed 2011 national budget, the PSC will be given P165 million for next year, over P60 million less than the amount the sports body received this year. The PSC had originally sought a war chest of P740-million but this was trimmed significantly by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“We’re very happy with the support of the committee,” Garcia said in a press briefing yesterday. “From the tone of the congressmen, it seems they will try to find ways to help us get more.”
But not leaving the PSC’s fate totally to the national budget, Garcia has also sought the legislators’ help in seeking its rightful allocation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s income.
Under Republic Act 6847, the PSC is entitled to five percent of Pagcor’s gross income, which goes into the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), the agency’s chest for national athletes.
In practice, though, Pacgor only remits five percent of its net income to the PSC and Garcia said if only the law will be implemented, the agency will get an additional P40 million a month or extra P500 million a year.
“If our budget from the GAA (General Appropriations Act) will dwindle, it won’t be enough for our programs. We would then have to draw funding (for our operations and other expenses) from the NSDF, which should have been for the athletes,” Garcia said.
“If only we can get our right share from Pagcor, that can solve maybe 80 percent of our funding problems,” he added.
Garcia said the House Committee on Youth and Sports headed by Rep. Renato Unico Jr. promised to summon Pagcor officials to another hearing next week to try to address the PSC’s concern.
The PSC chief and his board, meanwhile, will make a similar appeal to senators today when they make another presentation of their programs and budgetary requirements.
Olmin Leyba, Philippine Star