PATAFA-Obiena mediation a learning experience, says PSC

Published April 5, 2022, 2:35 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is looking at the recent mediation proceedings between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and pole vaulter EJ Obiena as a “learning experience for all.”

PSC Commissioner Mon Fernandez said athletes, coaches and National Sports Associations (NSAs) could learn a lesson from the incident where Obiena and PATAFA settled their differences after months of misunderstanding over financial allegations.

“That’s positive for the athletes kasi at least makikita nila na kung meron silang problema sa mga NSAs (National Sports Associations), pwedeng i-mediate ng PSC lalo na pag internal matters,” Fernandez said in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

Even PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, who facilitated the mediation proceedings, sees this as a monumental experience.

“For us in the PSC, this experience is historical because it is our first-ever foray into sports mediation, and it showed us areas where we can craft policies for improvement,” Ramirez said.

The successful mediation prompted PATAFA to endorse Obiena in the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.

Fernandez said the presence of Obiena, one of the country’s world-class athletes competing in the biennial meet, could bolster the confidence of his fellow athletes seeking gold medals.

“Mabu-boost talaga yung mga atleta. Makakatulong yung presence nya,” he said.