MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission launched separate campaigns to bring aid to the national athletes and coaches from 24 sports severely inconvenienced by Typhoon Odette.
The PSC, the government arm in sports, has approved the release of P15,000 for each of the 85 athletes and 20 coaches in the national training pool after the storm left a massive trail of destruction in Visayas and Mindanao.
Likewise coming to the rescue is the POC, which immediately sent a financial support of P10,000 each to 10 surfers and their two coaches in Siargao and Olympic marathoner Mary Joy Tabal in Cebu who remained incommunicado since the typhoon fiercely swept the region with gale-force winds late last week.
“We hope to get in touch with the others as soon as possible, so we can further our assistance to them,” said POC president
Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, pointing out the difficulty of reaching the athletes due to inoperative communication lines.
“We’re praying that no other athletes or coaches have been severely affected by the typhoon,” added the three-term Cavite representative and PhilCycling president.
The PSC has been closely keeping track of the situation and initiated the relief operations that would bring 10,000 bottles of water and 900 units of mattresses for the affected athletes and coaches.
A financial aid of P50,000 courtesy of the PSC is also made available for the rehabilitation of the weightlifting gym in Bohol to immediately begin the necessary repairs.
“My heart breaks for them. But they are trained to overcome great odds, survive and win,’’ said PSC Chairman William Ramirez.
“They might be sad for a while, but the champions in them will prod them to rise up and help themselves and those around them, so that together they can get through this,” added Ramirez.
The Special Services Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which oversees the detailed service of the nation’s military-athletes, offered its hand to the PS PSC in ensuring that the goods and subsequent packages will go directly to the intended recipients.
Tabal is a native of Cebu City, one of the hardest hit areas by the typhoon, while Siargao-based national surfers John Matthew Carby, Manuel Melindo Jr., John Mark Tokong, Nilbie Blancada and their families experienced the same fate.
United Philippine Surfing Association president Dr. Jose Raul Canlas also said surfers Jevy Mae Agudo, Philmar Alipayo, Edito Alcala Jr., Eduardo Alciso, Kaikai Alcala and Noah Arkfeld were affected along with their loved ones.
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