Friday, August 19, 2011

POC Official says "sorry" to PDBF

An official of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) apologized to members of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) for the lack of financial support for the team when they compete in international tournaments.
"Kung kami'y may kakulangan, kami po'y humihingi ng paumanhin (I would like to apologize for any of our shortcomings)," POC chair Monico Puentebella told members and officials of the dragon boat team on Thursday morning during a hearing of the House committee on youth and sports development.

He however said that the POC continued providing P55 million to the PDBF until 2010, which he claimed to have contributed to the dragon boat team's victory at the 10th International Dragon Boat Championships in Tampa, Florida.

PDBF athletes, composed of men and women from the military and the Philippine Coast Guard, won five gold and two silver medals in the week-long tournament, despite the lack of funding from the national government.

The POC and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the state-funded agency which controls funding for amateur sports, said in the House hearing the PBDF members cannot be recognized as part of the national team unless they join the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Federation (PCKF).

Both agencies also insisted that they are only complying with an International Olympic Committee (IOC) directive, which does not recognize dragon-boat racing as an Olympic sport.

PDBF president Marcia Cristobal, however, said that the dragon-boat racing "is in the process of recognition" from the IOC.

Lawmakers from the House of Representatives agreed to donate P5,000 each from their salaries to raise around P1.4 million for the team.

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