Not even the ongoing controversy can prevent the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) from supporting EJ Obiena the best it can.
In fact, the agency is giving financial assistance to the Olympic pole vaulter for his knee surgery even if he has yet to complete his liquidation report.
“Obiena needs help for his medical procedure, which we just approved yesterday, to take care of his surgery,” PSC Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.
Obiena, who turned 26 just last November, is set to undergo arthroscopy to repair issues in his left meniscus, according to multiple reports.
Aside from that aid, Ramirez said that the PSC is working on awarding him his cash incentive for setting a new Asian record of 5.93 meters in ruling the Golden Roof Challenge in Austria back in September 2021.
The University of Santo Tomas product eclipsed the 29-year-old mark of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich set in Dijon, France in 1992.
“His incentive is being finalized by the NSA affairs to be given to him,” he told the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
Ramirez said that the PATAFA has agreed to certify Obiena’s request so that the latter can receive the money directly as soon as possible.
“Atty. [Guillermo] Iroy, the executive director, communicated to PATAFA, and in goodwill, in the spirit of the forthcoming mediation, they certified it because with no certification, we cannot give this incentive even that medical [aid],” shared the long-time sports official.
“The PSC, again, at this extraordinary time, we used our national oversight to this matter so we bypassed the normal procedure. We have to thank PATAFA for this action.”
Obiena is in the midst of a funding row with PATAFA for nearly two months now, although the PSC is set to mediate between the warring parties with the assistance of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.