The Philippine Olympic Committee looks forward to a similarly responsive and interactive Philippine Sports Commission, following the abrupt changing of the guard at the government sports agency.
“The sudden changing of the guard at the PSC is surprising for us [POC], although we have already built a good partnership with former chairman [Jose Emmanuel Noli] Eala,” Tolentino said on Thursday. “We, nonetheless, have the same expectation with the new leadership.”
Malacañang announced on Wednesday the appointment of former professional basketball player Richard “Dickie” Bachmann as chairman of the PSC, replacing Eala who headed the government sports arm for only four months.
“I fervently pray for the POC to have a good and honest relationship with the new chairman,” Tolentino added.
Bachmann and the PSC are staring at a challenging and busy 2023 marked with major international competitions—the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May and Asian Games in Hangzhou in September, as well as the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and World Beach Games.
Dozens of qualifying tournaments are also calendared in 2023.
“We cannot deny the fact how important the support of the PSC to all the athletes, especially now with the Olympic journey, we are very sensitive with the precious assistance and of course lessening the strenuous process of providing contribution of the PSC to our NSAs [national sports associations],” Tolentino said. “That is our utmost concern.”
Tolentino added: “We all have the same goal of having the chance to promote our country through sports, therefore, we should initially unite in helping them prepare for the Olympics.”
Also appointed as commissioners of the five-member PSC board were former national fencer Walter Francis Torres and Edward Lim Hayco, former head of the Cebu Sports Commission. They joined bowling great Olivia “Bong” Coo who was named commissioner in July.