MANILA, Aug. 10 (PNA) – Contrary to the growing perception that the government has denied Philippine Dragon Boat Federation of financial assistance, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia clarified on Wednesday the PSC has actually spent P55 million to the PDBF for the last nine years.

“We’ve spent P55 million to the PDBF and our team became a good team because of our support to them,” Garcia said.

Garcia, however, said the financial assistance being directly given to the PDBF has been stopped in April this year when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) came out with a directive that PDBF should be under the national sports association of Canoe Kayak Federation.

“It’s the directive of the IOC and the PSC has a policy that we will not recognize an NSA which is not recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee,” Garcia explained.

Garcia added that if the PSC will give funds to the NSAs which are not recognized by the POC and IOC, the Commission on Audit (COA) will disallow the financial assistance.

With the directive of the IOC, Garcia said the PSC has decided to release the P5 million budget allocation intended for the PDBF to CKF.

“The P5 million will be used for the participation of a dragon boat team recognized by the CKF to the upcoming Southeast Asian Games,” Garcia said.

Garcia clarified also that the Philippine dragon boat team that competed in the 10th International Dragon Boat World championships in Tampa, Florida did not ask for financial assistance from the PSC.

“Perhaps, they knew already, that they cannot ask for financial assistance from the PSC because they are no longer recognized by the POC,” Garcia said.

Garcia also said that the Philippine dragon boat team that brought home five gold and two silver medals will not be entitled to cash incentive under Republic Act 9064 “because the law provides that only world championships held every four years will be the basis of the P2.5 million incentive.”

Last Tuesday, Senator Pia Cayetano filed a Senate resolution calling for an inquiry into the non-recognition of the Philippine dragon boat team which competed in the 18-country tournament. â–