Mindanao office of Philippine Sports Commission abolished

Joseph Encabo, former executive assistant of PSC chair William “Butch” Ramirez, said a memorandum dated February 25 released by the Angping “officially abolished the PSC Mindanao office.”

Encabo said the new PSC chair cited austerity measures as the reason behind the abolition.

The staff “welcomed and respected” the decision of the new national sports agency leadership but expressed dismay over its eagerness to secure “documents that we need to turn over.”

“We received the faxed memo at around 3 p.m. (February 25) and two personnel from the property unit arrived this morning (February 26) for the documents that we need to endorse,” said Encabo.

The abolition of the Mindanao satellite office also left four full time personnel, who were hired to run the daily operation, unemployed.

PSC Mindanao office was created through a board resolution. All members of the board were present during the inauguration of the office on March 16 last year.

Encabo fears the abolition of PSC Mindanao would put an end to the established linkage of the Mindanao sports stakeholders with the highest sports office of the land.

In its 11-month existence, PSC Mindanao was able to give aid to various LGU's in holding sports summits on management, planning and le Games adership seminars and clinic.

Through its “Mindanao sports for peace campaign,” PSC Mindanao staff traveled to various places in the island, including war zone areas, to conduct sports clinic and inform the people that sports is a viable instrument in achieving peace and prosperity.

“In our less than year of existence, we covered around 90% of Mindanao, “ said Encabo.

Encabo said he can’t say what will happen to the Mindanao Children’s Games and the planned revival of the Mindanao Friendsip Games now that PSC Mindanao has been abolished.

MCG and MFG are the two multi sports-events among the LGU's that aim to promote peace and discover new talents.

"It is truly unfortunate that the PSC Mindanao Office was hit by the ongoing cost-cutting measures of the new PSC Chair." said Councilor Davao City Sports Council, Inc. (DCSCI) president Peter Lavina.

Lavina hopes that grassroots programs in Mindanao will continue to discover new talents and hone the skills of the region's athletes.

He called for the continuity of the Mindanao Friendship Games, the Mindanao Sports for Peace campaign and the Mindanao participation in the Arafura Games and BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games, among others. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)