June 1, 2023

Several Cordilleran athletes who are members of the national team and training pool will be affected by the 50 percent cut in their monthly allowances from the Philippine Sports Commission.

The cut in the allowances came after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has reduced its contribution to PSC due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But PSC Chair Butch Ramirez assured last week that despite the agency’s reduced budget, PSC will continue taking care of national athletes.

Ramirez said they will restore the athletes’ monthly allowance once the agency receives enough remittances from the National Sports Development Fund. 

The NSDF finances the country’s national sports programs, including grassroots and training of national athletes for local and international sports competitions.

The PSC is cutting athletes’ allowances into half due to the global health crisis to sustain their needs until the end of the year.

The cut will start in June but will be disbursed in July.

Ramirez said athletes are entitled to backpay once remittances return to normal.

Remittances are usually sourced from the Pagcor, but their budget took a massive hit since casinos were closed due to the pandemic.

Ramirez said they spend P30 million to P70M a month for athletes’ allowances.

He said the allowance reduction on national athletes was based on two reasons.

He noted a big part of the NSDF was realigned to support the national government’s Covid-19 response.

Last April, the Department of Budget and Management released Budget Circular 580, which mandates all national government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges to realign their funds to aid the national government’s fight against the virus.

Under Republic Act 6847 or the Philippine Sports Commission Act, five percent of the gross revenues of Pagcor must be allocated to the NSDF.

Ramirez said Pagcor remits around P150M per month to the PSC before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once the Pagcor remittances resume to its normal distribution, the PSC chair promised the athletes will receive their full allowances again.

Platinum athletes, who won gold medals in world championships and Olympic medalists, receive P45,000 monthly from the PSC.

Class A athletes, which include silver and bronze medalists in world championships, Asian Games gold medalists, Olympians of preceding games, and chess grandmasters, receive P40,000 a month.

Class B athletes, comprising of Asian Games silver and bronze medalists, Asian Cup and Asian championships medalists, and Southeast Asian Games gold medalists, receive P30,000 monthly from the national sports   agency. – Harley F. Palangchao