Revised POC constitution allowing 3 consecutive terms approved

By Jean Malanum

January 17, 2024, 5:16 pm

<p>Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.<em> (PNA file photo)</em></p>

Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The amended Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) constitution, which was revised to conform with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) principles on good governance, was approved during the Extraordinary General Assembly last Tuesday.

It took three years for the POC to get the IOC’s approval of the changes such as gender equality (30 percent of the Executive Board must be female), a maximum of three consecutive terms for officials, and setting the age limit at 75 years old for POC leaders.

“No objection. Finally, after three years, the POC constitution is amended,” POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said in a statement on Wednesday.

The amended constitution came 10 months before the POC’s next elections on the last Friday of November in this Olympic year.

All national Olympic committees were tasked to revise their constitution by the IOC through its “Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance Within the Olympic Movement” which were approved during the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen in 2009 and updated in the framework of Recommendation 14 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5 - “Strengthen the Olympic Movement Through Good Governance.”

The POC constitution amendment committee was chaired by Rep. Richard Gomez with lawyers Al Agra, Marcus Antonio Andaya, and Avelino Sumagui as members.

The amended constitution adhered to internationally recognized standards of corporate governance with all members of the Olympic Movement standards in their respective rules, regulations, policies, and operations.

The new POC constitution, which was last amended in 2008, emphasizes the promotion of women in sports at all levels and in all structures, gender equality on and off the field of play and solidarity and social responsibility.

“Athletes’ representation now also has a heavier weight within the POC revolving on their active participation in the decision-making processes,” said Tolentino, who also heads the cycling federation.

“The amended constitution also focuses on diversity and inclusion,” added Tolentino, also the Tagaytay City mayor.

The revised constitution stressed athletes’ physical and mental health, conflict of interest policy, and also heavily on political neutrality and autonomy but with harmonious relations with government authorities and external partners. (PNA)