On July 1, 2022, SBP president Al Panlilio told Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Musong Castillo that the private sector will boldly take care of the hosting of the Fiba World Cup. Then, the Inquirer reported that SBP has set aside an “astronomical sum” for the hosting job and cited a source that said the total amount needed for the Fiba World Cup hosting was P1.5 billion.
“It’s for the love of our country and love for our sport. It’s MVP’s promise to the nation,” Panlilio told the Inquirer.
That love, according to the Inquirer, was set at P900 million, the final amount it targeted it would spend for the World Cup. That’s aside from the P200 million it already spent (remember this number.)
Yet, less than three months later, the SBP told the Senate Committee on Finance that it would be spending P3.7 billion for the World Cup and is asking P1.5 billion from the government, which translates to a 40 percent share of the expenses of the hosting. The amount it is asking is P200 million more than what Inquirer’s sources said was the total funds needed for the hosting on its July 1 story.
On July 1, SBP said it already spent P200 million. On Oct. 10, it said it already spent P1 billion
What happened between July 1 and that meeting with the Senate committee?
Noli Eala happened. The former PBA commissioner got appointed as the new chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission in late August, and in early September, asked Pinoys to support the World Cup hosting, one of his first statements as PSC chair.
From an astronomical P1.3 billion it was ready to shoulder for love of the country in July 1, the SBP is now asking for the country’s love to the tune of P1.5 billion. Predictably, readers disgusted enough by the news to comment online agree on one thing—it’s a waste of money.
Some senators who love to play armchair analysts on Twitter didn’t even bat an eyelash with such a huge sum, saying it’s a huge chance to promote sports tourism and that the athletes are becoming brands themselves due to social media.
They didn’t do their homework and didn’t even bother to ask why the SBP suddenly needed P3.7 billion when P1.3 billion was enough two months ago.
It’s an astronomical sum that the private sector will take care of.SBP President Al Panlilio to the Inquirer on July 1, 2022 on the P1.3B needed for the World Cup
We are seeking the help of the government in a way where we think that there will values for what money they will give us.SBP Vice-President Ricky Vargas on Oct. 10 after asking P1.5B as the gov’t share of the P3.7B needed for the World Cup
Eala, also didn’t bat an eyelash and said the agency has already allocated P65 million for the local organizing committee. The LOC mind you. Something that the PSC doesn’t need to have a role in. If this was under former chairman Ramirez, I’m confident the PSC would turn SBP down before it could even set up a meeting.
In a Spin.PH report, Eala said, “It’s our mandate to support amateur sports and since this is technically an NSA that is seeking assistance, kami po ang may mandate na tulungan ang NSA.”
In my close to two decades experience in sports, whenever someone says technically, someone is trying to stretch an idea.
Do you know who else could use that P65 million for actual preparation of a Pinoy team in a World Cup and not just for an LOC? The Philippine women’s football and the men’s softball team—two national squads that made a World Cup through the qualification process.
The men’s softball team got a silver for the sixth straight time in the Asian Championships and earned a spot in the World Cup to be held in November. The women’s team, as some of the readers here knew, got a World Cup spot in the Asian Women’s Cup early this year.
Eala hasn’t made any offer of a P65 million assistance.