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PPC acknowledges PSC's move to cut APG funding for COVID-19 battle: 'Sports must take a back seat'

Mike Barredo (middle) is respecting the PSC's decision to shift its funding focus to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jess Escaros/PNA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Although he admitted that he was disheartened by it, Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo respects the PSC's decision to reallocate what is supposed to be further funding for the hosting of the ASEAN Para Games for the fight to fully contain COVID-19.

"While this is disheartening news for our local and ASEAN para-athletes, who have trained and sacrificed so much to represent their respective countries, their health, and safety as well as their coaches, members of their team, and families, remain our top priority," Barredo said in a statement on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the PSC announced that it is withdrawing further financial support to the hosting of the APG, which has been postponed twice already, all due to the eventual pandemic as well as canceling all the events that it already lined up until December.

[Related Story: PSC-sanctioned events 'canceled until December']

"We understand that this is a global concern and this is a very difficult decision to do. At this moment, sports must take a back seat to address a greater issue," Barredo further said.

But with the APG hosting "currently not feasible without government support," that is, due to the PSC's decision, it further puts uncertainty on whether the biennial meet, a version of the Southeast Asian Games for para-athletes, will really take place this year. In fact, Barredo said that he is now leaving the final say to the ASEAN Para Sports Federation.

"We will send a communication to the ASEAN Para Sports Federation on the present situation so that its Board of Governors may decide on the fate of the APG," he bared.

Among the PPC's other moves, Barredo said, "We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust to government directives."

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