|GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra and Pow Salud of Powcast.net Sports Hub|
Powcast was at the 17th Elorde Boxing Awards held last night at the Manila Hotel. The best and the brightest boxing stars of Philippines including some VIPs and personalities within the boxing industry including GAB Chairman Baham Mitra were also present.
We were given a chance to have a brief conversation with the GAB Chairman Baham about the recent issues and misconceptions with the Games and Amusement Board.
Here's the transcript of the speech delivered by GAB Chairman Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra at 17th Gabriel "Flash" Elorde Boxing Awards.
Please allow me to correct some misconceptions about Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
1. Our mandate is the welfare and safety of boxers, not promotion. Plus, don't get mad at us if we disapprove mismatches as we are the ones blamed or criticized in the media and not you.
2. Our annual budget is only P80-100 million. It is even smaller than the budgets of small municipalities. And, we have no funds budgeted for promotions or additional prize money.
3. Promoters do not pay GAB for the services of ring officials. I heard we were requested by officials themselves to be the depository for their compensation, as some were not paid by promoters in the past.
4. We only supervise 13 sports, not 22 as reported. We supervise other minimum activities from twice to five times a year. Most of the time and resources are allotted to boxing, as well as 46 of the 150 employees. As to basketball, we exercise oversight only since there is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) already. We are doing almost only licensing.
5. We do not hold the boxers welfare funds. It is with the Bureau of Treasury, not with us. Before, yes, the welfare funds were with us, but not anymore. Ever since we took office, the Department of Budget and Management has not released a single peso for our four requests.
6. The list of welfare fund released before was given to Mr. Sareal and Mr. Almario. Plus, it was posted in the website and Facebook page of the GAB.
7. We want to provide funds for retired boxers, but budget constraints prevent us from doing so.
8. We have been wanting to include MRI but managers say it's too expensive. Now, upon prodding from Sen. Manny Pacquiao in the Senate interpellations, we will have to impose in the near future lest we be accused of reneging in our duties and functions.