Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guiao files petition vs PAGCOR, PCSO for denying PSC funds

Guiao files petition vs PAGCOR, PCSO for denying PSC funds
by rick olivares

In a bold stroke, Joseller “Yeng” Guiao, took off his coaching hat and put on his congressman’s barong to go where no local sports official or government official has gone before… he filed a Petition for Mandamus with the Supreme Court yesterday, Tuesday, April 26, against the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for their collective failure to honor their obligation to remit close to PhP4 billion, from 2010-2015 alone, to the Philippine Sports Commission.

"In Section 26 of Republic Act 6847 better known as “the Philippine Sports Commission Act” of 1990, it is clearly mandated that 5% of PAGCOR’s gross income should be automatically remitted to the Philippine Sports Commission,” noted Guiao who aside from his head coaching duties with PBA club Rain or Shine is also Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports. “If you look at the law, it is very clear — 5% of PAGCOR’s gross income shall be automatically remitted directly to the PSC. The operational words are ‘shall' and ‘automatically.’ That leaves no room for interpretation. It is very clear. For PCSO, they are also supposed to remit 30% of the proceeds from six sweepstakes or lottery draws per annum but so far they have refused to comply. That is clear, sweepstakes or lottery."

The gaming agency has unilaterally decreased its contribution to 2.1% of its gross income since 1993. “So if you count the years from 1993 (under the administration of former president Fidel V. Ramos), that is possibly about PhP10 billion pesos that were allocated for sports development but never reached the PSC,” said the solon.

"In the committee hearings in congress, this always comes up when we discuss funding for sports. So dapat talaga matapos na. I am on the committee for youth and sports, I am not doing my job if I cannot do this. Now if the Supreme Court renders a decision pro or against, at least alam na natin kung ano yung situation natin at hindi tayo nakabitin."

Guiao was quick to clarify that the timing of the filing for the petition of a judicial writ isn’t politically motivated. The congressman who is in his second term in Pampanga is a member of the Liberal Party. "I’d like to emphasize that the timing is best now. For one, this does not hurt this government because I don’t think this case is going to be decided in the next 60-plus days. For the next administration, it does not become political or personal against the next government. We’re neutral. This isn’t anyone’s fault. This was just a carryover from before. No one was questioning it."

"Everyone is asking the same thing, batas na natin ito so we’re expecting that this will be followed to the letter but PSC is saying we’re only receiving this amount and not this. Everyone is surprised but no one is doing anything. So this is the time to do something about this."

“It is sad that the lack of funds deprives us of promoting sports development,” observed Guiao. “Like every other Filipino, I get upset when I see our performances in competitions from the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games or the Olympics. We can clearly do better. The necessary monies doesn’t mean that we will win a gold medal tomorrow but it will put us on that path for better performances and results.”

“If we are successful in recovering PSC’s just share from PAGCOR and PCSO remittances, imagine the good that it will do to Philippine Sports. We can build better facilities, provide better nutrition and training to our athletes. We will also have enough funds to build a new national training center to replace our flood-prone and pollution-laden complex in Manila." 

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