By WAYLON GALVEZ
The Philippine Sports Commission is implementing stricter rules and guidelines in providing financial assistance to athletes next year.
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said only performing athletes would receive assistance next year based on their achievement in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“An overall assessment of all athletes will be done to identify who among them really deserve funding from the government,” said Ramirez, the PH chef de mission in the SEA Games.
“We have been all out in supporting our athletes for the SEA Games. Starting January, we will make sure that the financial assistance (on all athletes) will be performance-based.”
The government sports agency is backing 1,115 Filipino athletes from 56 different sports in the biennial meet set Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 SEA Games to be held in Metro Manila, Clark and Subic.
The PSC has allocated over P1.2 billion for the training, foreign exposure, allowances and needs of Filipino athletes and their coaches, as well as for the purchase of equipment.
According to Ramirez, the PSC will categorize athletes and sports into three tiers.
Tier 1 will be composed of athletes who have given pride and honor to the country in high-level tournaments overseas.
So far, the sports agency has already identified at least 20 athletes, including world champions Carlos Edriel Yulo of gymnastics and Nesthy Petecio (boxing), Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting) and Asian champions EJ Obiena (pole vault) and skateboarder Margielyn Didal.
“They will get all the necessary financial support needed for them to succeed,” Ramirez said.
Different national sports associations whose athletes don’t belong in tier 1 but deserve PSC support will be gathered in tier 2 while non-performing sports and their athletes will comprise tier 3.
“Most of the countries that are successful identify the focus sports where majority of the budget pie goes,’’ said Ramirez.
“We cannot do it here because we must help even those who didn’t perform well. But those athletes we know who are capable of winning will definitely get a much bigger allocation.”