POC to hold first online general assembly meeting


    THE Philippine Olympic Committee will hold its first online general assembly meeting on Aug. 29, with the Dancesport Council of the Philippines and Karate Pilipinas Sports Foundation Inc. scheduled to be formally recognized as POC regular members.

    POC secretary general Atty. Ed Gastanes issued a memo regarding the virtual session yesterday, requiring National Sports Associations to designate and register their representatives – the president, vice president or secretary general –  for the meeting by Aug. 27.

    It will be the first POC general assembly meeting since the last one held in December, originally set every two months based on the local Olympic body’s charter.  It was repeatedly deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic that virtually locked down the entire country since mid-March.

    The DSCP headed by socialite Becky Garcia was formerly a regular POC member but was demoted to associate membership when dancesport was not played in two successive Southeast Asian Games as required by the POC rules on full membership.

    Last seen in the 2007 Thailand SEA Games, the discipline made a comeback during the 30th Philippine edition where Filipino campaigners waltzed away with overall honors, winning 12 of the 13 gold medals up for grabs plus two silvers.

    Break dance, which falls under the category of dancesport, will make its Olympic debut as a medal discipline in the Tokyo Olympics next year, making it possible for the DSCP to regain regular status.

    Formed in 2018, the KPSF headed by former national standout and SEA Games gold medalist Richard Lim was formally recognized in 2018 by the World Karatedo Federation, which also simultaneously stripped the disgraced Philippine Karatedo Federation of WKF membership.

    The recognition by the international federation of a sport accredited by the International Olympic Committee is a prerequisite for formal POC recognition.

    Karate will also make its maiden outing in the Tokyo Games while the KPSF supervised the event in the last 30th SEA Games where the Pinoy karatekas, led by Olympic hopefuls Fil-Japanese Junna Tsukii and Jamie Christine Lim, bagged two gold, one silver and nine bronze medals.

    The granting of full membership to the two NSAs brings the total of POC regular members to 51 with voting rights.

    Also regular voters are International Olympic Committee Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, who can also cast a separate vote as the equestrian president;  triathlete Nikko Huelgas and weighlifter Hidylin Diaz, members of the POC Athletics Commission.

    Likewise on the POC general assembly agenda are the POC free bicycle project, a brainchild of POC president Rep. Bambol Tolentino; the 2020 Olympic Day celebration, the Tokyo Games, the 2021 Vietnam SEA Games and the financial report by the POC treasurer.

    Tolentino said the two remaining amendments to the POC charter – the exclusion of candidates 70 and above from running in the POC polls in November and the composition of the POC Executive Board – will be tackled in a separate special session of the general assembly.