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Eala gives PSC new face, energy

Noli Eala announced his main goal right in his first day of office as chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission: To give the government sports agency a new face and new energy.

A former broadcaster, lawyer and basketball official, the 59-year-old Eala formally reported for work on Thursday and was warmly received by PSC commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo, executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy and deputy executive director Merlita Ibay.

He arrived at the PSC main office inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex a little past 9 a.m. and immediately buckled down to work by meeting all the department heads and key personnel in which they discussed pertinent matters like basic housekeeping and other urgent pending matters.

He said he is ready to usher in a new era in Philippine sports.

“The PSC will have a new face and new energy,” he said in a statement.

“The PSC, under my watch, will care for sports like no other.”

But Eala is tipped to hit the ground running.

A sportsman for the past 33 years, Eala vowed to sustain the gains of the previous administration under William “Butch” Ramirez in which the country ended its 97-year drought for an Olympic gold medal while producing a lot of outstanding athletes in the international arena.

He said he will boost grassroots sports while continuing the program for elite athletes by reaching out to the private sector to craft a setup that is similar to the very successful “Project: Gintong Alay” in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Gintong Alay was the brainchild of Mike Keon, the uncle of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and was sustained by Joey Romasanta when former President Corazon Aquino took over.

“We will continue with programs that will further strengthen our sports initiatives,” Eala, the agency’s 11th chairman, said.

“We will create pathways for all to get involved in sports while ensuring that elite athletes are provided with all they need to be successful. We will reach out to the private sector, similar to the golden years of the Gintong Alay program, to harness their support for all stakeholders of sports.”

He added that a lot of things are on the table, but he is willing to settle everything in preparation for his first board meeting when the Chief Executives formally appoints the three other commissioners.

“Today, I reported for work and had an initial meeting with officers of the agency discussing matters from basic housekeeping to urgent pending matters needing immediate attention and action,” he said.

“We target to have all these clarified and studied in preparation for the formal convening of the board.”

“It was a productive first day at the office. There are many things to be done, but I am hopeful and eager to start working.”

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