Give And Go

Having covered the local sports beat for a while now and talked to many stakeholders, one thing stands out is the fact that much still needs to be done as far as the country’s sports program is concerned.
Various tangents for discussion go with it, including the role that the private sector can play in furthering local sports organizations’ thrust to shore up their programs and look after the welfare of our athletes.
In line with this, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) recently released separate donations totaling P46 million to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
MVPSF and SMC each gave P20 million while the PBA donated P6 million, with each of the 12 competing teams contributing P500,000.
The donated money will be directed towards the athletes and their National Sports Associations for their preparations for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next year and the Asian Games later this year.
The donation was formally handed over to the POC in a brief ceremony during the halftime break of the game between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings and TNT KaTropa on May 6.
POC President PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas, along with other officials of the sports body, received the donation and expressed his gratitude, saying “this is for the athletes, country and the programs.”
To ensure transparency and clarity, Vargas said for each donation there is “a directed memorandum of agreement for the donee.”
For San Miguel it will choose the NSAs and programs it will be supporting while that of the MVPSF is geared towards the incentives for medal-winning athletes and for training as well.
That of the PBA, meanwhile, is for training in the SEA Games and Asian Games and the NSAs.
This banding together of these various groups is surely a welcome development.
As said at the top, the involvement of the private sector in local sports development could not be more overstated considering funding for such is admittedly far from being ideal.
While the P46-million donation may not be big relative to what Philippine sports in general needs, still it is a step in the right direction and would go a long way in inspiring more people, groups and corporations to come on board and pick up the cause of supporting our country’s sports programs and athletes.
So kudos to the PBA, MVPSF and SMC. May this be the start of a steady commitment from your end to Philippine sports. And may more groups follow suit.
Michael Angelo S. Murillo has been a columnist since 2003. He is a BusinessWorld reporter covering the Sports beat.