Tokyo—The Philippine Sports Commission’s full share in the earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. must be restored to sustain the gains made by national athletes in the country’s best Olympic finish in history.
Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao made this call as the Philippine campaign winds down at the Tokyo Games, where a 19-man delegation has guaranteed the country’s first four-medal haul in 97 years of Olympic participation.
Guiao, then a congressman representing the first district of Pampanga, filed a petition before the Supreme Court in 2016 seeking to require both PAGCOR and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to remit their proper contributions to the PSC.
As per RA 6847 that created the PSC Act of 1990, PAGCOR is mandated to remit five percent of its gross income to the government sports agency, while PCSO is supposed to remit 30 percent of earnings from six sweepstakes or lottery draws per annum.
But beginning 1993, PAGCOR has unilaterally brought down its contribution to just 2.1375 percent of its gross income, following an executive order from the Office of the President handed down during the time of President Ramos.
The Supreme Court has not acted on the petition since then and Guiao said now is as good a time as any to revisit the issue, if only to assure a continuation of the programs that helped Filipino athletes achieve unprecedented success here.
“Now is a good time to follow this up with the Supreme Court,” said Guiao, admitting he has not heard from the High Court since the filing of the petition.
“Money that really belongs to the athletes but was channeled to another purpose must be given back to the PSC and used for its original purpose, which is for the development of sports and support for our athletes,” said the NLEX coach.
Guiao estimated that if the law is applied retroactively, as much as P15 billion will be remitted to the PSC for sports development, both at the elite level and the grassroots.
Guiao, who as vice-chairman of the Committee on Sports in the 16th Congress also co-authored the bill that led to the Athletes Incentives Act, said a large budget both from the government and the private sector is needed to sustain a program that can consistently produce world-class athletes.
“Private sector help is most welcome, but it is still charity,,” said the multi-titled PBA coach. “But this budget [for the PSC] as mandated by law will be there for the Filipino athlete every single year.”