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Butch at the helm

August 16, 2019 - Friday 4:08 AM by Jimmy Laking

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“There is no such thing as a one-way traffic in so far as the relationships of the NSAs with the PSC is concerned. The NSAs are obligated to account for the money handed over to them by the PSC.”

 It is now official. Philippine Sports Commission chair William “Butch” Ramirez will ramrod the country’s delegation to the 30thSoutheast Asia Games as its Chef de mission.

This was a 180 degree turn-around for the PSC chair after he turned down the designation when it was first offered to him by Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino in May. “Philippine sports is in shambles,” Ramirez bewailed in turning down the offer.

This was the time when a power struggle split the POC into two camps. One camp remained loyal to former POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. and the other to newly-elected POC president Victorico “Ricky” Vargas who vowed to overhaul the POC inside out.

But Vargas unexpectedly resigned, paving the way for the election of Cavite 7th district Rep. Abraham Tolentino as the new president.

In the months that followed as the PSC watched from the outside looking in, Tolentino appeared to have made good his promise to heal differences with the POC. I think that in a manner of saying, Tolentino may have read the NSAs the riot act. That there is no such thing as a one-way traffic in so far as the relationships of the NSAs with the PSC is concerned. That the NSAs are obligated to account for the money handed over to them by the PSC.

In its second try, the POC convened with a forum.

On Wednesday, Tolentino signed a tripartite agreement for the hosting of the SEA Games with PSC chair Ramirez and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizational Committee, Inc. (PHISGOC) president Ramon Suzara.

The agreement adopted “We win as one” as a theme.

“Now we will be able to march together in hosting the games,” declared Ramirez with the signing of the agreement.

“It’s always beautiful and positive to think of a strong collective activity among people and whatever transpired in the past is part of a historic journey,” he said.

He expressed hoped the delegation would be able to deliver a miracle for the SEA games.

Tolentino himself was beyond words. “Finally, finally, medyo late nang konti but still this is the day,” he said.

He said the SEA Games was the beginning and the biggest challenge was to ensure the country’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Under the agreement, the POC will coordinate and ensure the autonomy of the national sports associations vis-à-vis requirements in their respective events.

The PHISGOC is responsible for the actual preparation, organization, management and execution of the hosting of games from November 30 to Decermber 11 this year.

The PSC, on the other hand, is in charge of the disbursement of funds, pursuant to the General Appropriations Act of 2019, to the PHISGOC.

It will also oversee the proper use of funds as well as assist in procurement.

Last week, the chefs de mission of the 11 participating nations were updated on the preparations and were toured around the game venues.

The PHISGOC also gave assurance that as the expression goes, it is now all systems go for the Games.

It was a sweet victory for Butch Ramirez and his colleagues at the PSC judging by the swift turn of events that turned out satisfactorily to all stakeholders. His insistence on transparency and good governance prevailed. It could not be otherwise. All’s well that ends well.