The country has rejoined the global tennis community as the International Tennis Federation (ITF) lifted the suspension of the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA) on Sunday.
“I am pleased to confirm that the ITF Board of Directors has decided to lift the suspension of the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA) … in accordance with Article 5 of the ITF Constitution,” stated ITF president David Haggerty in a letter dated January 21 to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
“I would like to thank you and your team, particularly Mr. Ramon Suzara, for your proactive approach to resolving Philta’s governance issues in accordance with our shared values of good governance, transparency, and accountability,” Haggerty said.
“Philta’s return to active ITF membership is a significant moment for tennis in the Philippines and the Asian region, and the ITF is highly motivated to support Philta in its efforts to develop, grow, and promote the sport in the coming years,” he added.
Tolentino expressed gratitude to Haggerty and the ITF for their prompt reinstatement of Philta, which had been suspended for three years due to governance issues.
“The POC would like to thank Mr. Haggerty and the ITF for lifting the suspension that would allow Philippine tennis to get back on track,” Tolentino said.
The POC assumed the role of an ad hoc administrator for tennis, with Suzara leading a task force that included Robert Joseph Moran (soft tennis) and Ting Ledesma (table tennis) as members until the association’s constitution was revised following ITF regulations and approved by the world governing body.
The ITF-ordered and POC-supervised elections of the Philta board of trustees members were held last December 11 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila, with Paranaque City Mayor Eric Olivarez being named president.
Also elected were Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino as vice president, Calabarzon’s Gerardo Alcala as treasurer, and Mimaropa’s Theodore Jose Matta as internal auditor.
The other members of the board, voted independently by their respective regions, were Bicol’s Franzes Khu Camacho, Western Visayas’s Theodore Dy, Ilocos Region’s Elmaerwin Sibucao, Mindanao’s Gilbert Paylado, Cordillera Autonomous Region’s Dickerson Laruan, Cagayan Valley’s Fernando Silapan, Eastern Visayas’s Joile Mondragon, Central Visayas’s Jean Henri Lhuiller, Caraga’s Dyan Castillejo, and April Toledo for Gender Equity.