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Butch issues stern warning to NSAs

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Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez has a message that national sports associations (NSA) must take heed in the runup to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games: perform or lose funding.

Aware that there is enormous pressure for the country to get out of a rut following the string of dismal performances in the biennial sportsfest the last ten years, Ramirez wants NSA leaders to deliver in the Aug. 19-31 EAG that will be hosted by Malaysia.

“I will tell the NSAs to perform and look for your money, if you don’t perform,” Ramirez said during the PSA Forum yesterday when asked what he would do if the Philippines is unable to step up to the plate once more.

After taking the overall crown for the fist time when it was the host in 2005, the Philippine sank to as low as seventh in the 11-nation meet in 2013 but placed either fifth or sixth in the previous editions.

Ramirez said the Commission on Audit (CoA) wants answers why many NSAs have been failing to perform despite funding from the PSC.

“Everyone is asking where the money is being spent,” said Ramirez, noting that facing the House of Representatives and the Senate is something sports leaders like him don’t look forward to.

There will be 405 events in 38 sports that will be played in Kuala Lumpur and Ramirez insists that it is high time for the country to improve on its showing.

Ramirez believes that while the PSC provides financial assistance to NSAs, “it is the NSAs that know and they’re the ones should be held accountable (in the event of a miserable performance).”

Meanwhile, Ramirez feels that the proposal to turn the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) into a commercial area will not happen overnight.

“Mahabang proseso pa ito and besides, we still don’t have an approval from the President (Rodrigo Duterte),” said Ramirez, who nonetheless is aware of the plan of the group of Enrique Razon to acquire the RMSC where he intends to put up residential and commercial units while retaining its Art Deco facade.

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