POC EXPECTS STRONG TITLE BID FOR TOKYO GAMES; SEEKS ADDITIONAL 510M BUDGET
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Bambol Tolentino believed that the country would bag multiple gold medals and as such sought an additional P510 million budget for elite sports for 2021 at the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Tokyo could be that host city where the country could win not one, not two, but probably more Olympic gold medals in 2021,” Tolentino said.
And for such a goal to be plausible, he added that athletes need all the support required for such a feat.
The first proposed budget by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and endorsed by the Department of Budget Management, amounting to 207 million is said to be allocated for the PSC’s operations, salaries, and wages of personnel.
And the proposed additional 510 million budget was set for the benefits of the Filipino athletes’ training and preparation.
“The PSC needs the full support of Congress—the House and Senate—because 2021 is the year when the Olympic gold medal beckons,” Tolentino said.
“I am confident that elusive gold medal will be achieved in Tokyo,” Tolentino shared.
Nonetheless, the 510 million was not set primarily to be exhausted for the Tokyo Games alone. Where the 150 million will be for the Tokyo Olympics campaign, while the 100 million will be for the preparation and participation in the Southeast Asian Games.
And the last P250 million will be allocated for the Asian Beach Games, Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games, Asian Youth Games, Asian Youth Para Games, ASEAN Para Games, Tokyo Paralympics, and ASEAN Youth Games.
Nonetheless, according to Tolentino, the SEA Games is also one to look for as it is also on top of the priorities, as the country will defend its overall title. Where last year, the PH team won 149 gold, 117 silver, and 121 bronze medals.
Moreover, the country currently has four Olympic qualifiers in pole vaulter EJ Obiena, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.
Waiting in the wings are Gilas Pilipinas 3×3, women’s world boxing champion Nesthy Petecio, and Rio 2016 weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, whose respective Tokyo qualifiers were postponed for early 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.