April 10 - Battling the ongoing impact of Typhoon Haiyan as well as reduced funding and support are the biggest challenges facing the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), vice-president Jose A Romasanta has told insidethegames today.
Speaking here during the SportAccord International Convention, Romasanta spoke positively about the nation's reaction to the devastating impact of Haiyan, which left 6,000 people dead amid untold damage to infrastructure when it struck last November.
"We are a positive nation who take each thing as it comes and always rise through", he said, before explaining how one karate coach has had to move to Manila due to the likelihood of being cut off by flooding in his hometown.
The reduced priority of sport following Haiyan is one reason for this.
But Romasanta also claimed the Commission are in "danger of forgetting what sport is about" and criticised their reluctance to provide support.
"All our sports need to be assisted by funding and financial assistance, but the Sports Commission will not spend and they are not interested in spending money to host events," he said.
"But although our athletes have less training and support in comparison to others, they are uniquely talented.
"We realise what has gone wrong and are trying to catch up."
He underlined this point by comparing his country with neighbouring Thailand, where huge amounts have been spent on athletes, as well as on training and major events, something he sees as a "wise strategy".
Philippines sent an 11-strong team across eight sports to London 2012, their smallest team since Atlanta 1996.
They won 16 medals, including three gold, at the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games, in comparison with 19 medals, four of them gold, at Doha 2006.
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