PRESIDENT  ARROYO  ORDERS  PHIL  SPORTS  COMMISSION  BOARD  TO  STEP  DOWN

MANILA, JUNE 28, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - A major revamp is forthcoming at the Philippine Sports Commission.

In compliance with a direct order from President Arroyo, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez yesterday said he and his four commissioners are all set to tender their courtesy resignations.

Just recently, after the May 14 elections, the President ordered all her Cabinet members, and heads of the different GOCCs (government owned and controlled corporations) to step down.

Also asked to tender their resignations as soon as possible are the heads of the different government bureaus and agencies, which include the PSC, the government’s funding arm in sports.

Ramirez said he received a letter from Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita the other day saying that the members of the PSC board must also resign. The letter was dated June 22, 2007.

“We just received it and I have talked it over with my four commissioners. We will all comply. We are tendering our courtesy resignations as soon as possible,” Ramirez told The STAR.

Ramirez has been with the PSC since the Estrada administration where he served as commissioner. He became chairman in 2005, and steered the country to the overall championship in the SEA Games.

The four commissioners are Ritchie Garcia, Leon Montemayor, Ambrocio de Luna and Joey Mundo. Under their watch, the Philippines also had its best finish in more than 40 years in the Asian Games.

“A revamp is coming at the PSC. We all serve at the pleasure of the President. And it’s always good to give the President the free hand in appointing the members of her government.

“It’s the prerogative of the President to put in replacements in her government. She can replace some of us, or all of us if she wants to. But we will not abandon our jobs until we are replaced,” Ramirez added.

Ramirez said whether or not the President endorses the resignations of the PSC board members, it was clearly stated in the letter that came from Ermita that they should all resign.

After last year’s Asian Games in Doha, where the Philippines won four gold, six silver and nine bronze medals, Ramirez tendered his resignation, saying that he feels that he “has done his job for sports.”

But the President asked him to stay, and see to it that the Philippines win its first Olympic gold medal in Beijing next year. This, according to Ramirez, is the President’s priority as far as sports is concerned.

Yesterday, Ramirez was in Malacañang to meet First Gentleman Mike Arroyo who will spearhead the country’s campaign in the Beijing Olympics by helping raise the needed funds.

It was the third time he sat down with Ramirez to talk about the Olympic preparation involving around 30 chosen athletes from seven sports.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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