Payroll fraud triggers PSC revamp

Published July 22, 2020, 4:04 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez

The Philippine Sports Commission underwent an organizational revamp on Wednesday in light of the payroll fraud that one of its employees allegedly orchestrated over the past five years.

In a statement released the same day, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said the move was “a collective decision of the board as part of a plan to re-stabilize the organization.”

Part of the changes was the appointment of Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr as Acting Executive Director, filling in the spot of Merlita Ibay, who resumed her post as Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administrative Services.

Queenie Evangelista, on the other hand, was also appointed head of the Bureau of Coordinating Secretariat and Support Services as its acting Deputy Executive Director.

The Board approved these appointments at Wednesday’s executive meeting.

“As the highest accountable official of the agency, I take responsibility to effect changes, to make sure that there are no gaps in the organization,” said Ramirez.

“I feel sad, frustrated and hurt, but we all have to have composure.”

Ramirez hopes all stakeholders and partners “are at peace with these decisions and continue to support us through this.”

Other leadership changes within the agency are set within the week.

The National Bureau of Investigation has already apprehended the accused, Paul Michael Padua Ignacio, last week.

Ignacio allegedly collected millions of funds from athletes and coaches’ allowances in the past five years.

The Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General have also been asked to assist with the investigation and case.

The PSC has also formed a fact-finding body to conduct its own investigation and dig deeper into the issue.

Ramirez was coming off a month’s break to furlough to attend to an ailing wife.

The suspect, who has been with the PSC since 2011, receives a monthly salary of P21,000. Ramirez has vowed to make those involved pay for their misdeeds