POC requests P450 million from GAA for major international competitions in 2022

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) submitted an additional budget request of P450 million in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Filipino athletes’ preparation and participation in five major international competitions in 2022.

POC President Abraham N. Tolentino submitted the letter of request to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III through Senate Committee on Appropriations Chair Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara, House Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William I. Ramirez.

The request is broken down into P5 million for the Winter Olympics (Beijing, Feb. 4 to 20), P150 million for the Sixth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, or AIMAG (Bangkok and Chonburi, Thailand, March 10 to 20), P10 million for The World Games, or TWG (Birmingham, Alabama, USA, July 7 to 22), P270 million for 19th Asian Games (Hangzhou, China, Sept. 10 to 25), and P15 million Fifth Asian Youth Games, or AYG (Shantou, China, Dec. 20 to 28).

“Participation in these high-level sports events is truly significant as these are held only every four years,” Mr. Tolentino said in the letter of request dated Sept. 20. ”

“Not only will joining these sports events showcase the Filipino brand of athletic talent, but more so elevate the morale of our athletes and inspire other young Filipinos to engage in sports training and development,” added the POC chief, also a sitting congressman representing the 8th district of Cavite.

Mr. Tolentino said that the budgetary requirements were based on the total number of participating athletes and the events in which they will participate — including the costs of training to be incurred.

The POC expects the Asian Games to have the most participants ranging from 250 to 275 athletes, followed by the AIMAG with 160 athletes, AYG with 15 to 20 and the Winter Olympics with three to four athletes.

The TWG is by invitation from the international federations that are not on the Summer or Winter Olympics programs of the International Olympic Committee.

Mr. Tolentino also stated in the request — but not in the actual budget matrix — possible additional expenses for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam. The estimated budget for the postponed SEA Games is pegged at P200 million.

“Unfortunately, the allocation requirements for all these major international events were not included in the preparation of the 2022 National Budget, hence, this letter is submitted for your reference and guidance,” Mr. Tolentino said.

The POC stressed that participation in the five major international competitions “would sustain the momentum that Filipino sports gained from the Tokyo Olympics.”