PSC pledges P15-M support to Siargao surfing event

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island — The holding of the 26th Siargao International Surfing Cup next year received the much-needed boost after the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) pledged PHP15 million as assistance for the holding of the annual international watersport competition.

Surigao del Norte (1st District) Rep. Bingo Matugas made the announcement as he introduced PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez as the guest speaker of the opening ceremony of the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup in Cloud 9, General Luna town on Saturday (Oct. 5).

Fernandez represented PSC chair William “Butch” Ramirez during the event.

SURFING.  PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez (4th from right) leads the ceremonial breaking of a surfboard to kick off the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup in Cloud 9, General Luna town on Saturday (Oct. 5, 2019).  Fernandez was joined by Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas (1st from right), Rep. Bingo Matugas (2nd from right), General Luna Mayor Cecilia Rusillon (3rd from right), Tourism Director Joseph Fernando Ortega (5th from right), and 2018 surfing cup champion Skip McCullough (1st from left). (PNA photo by Alexander D. Lopez)

Matugas said the financial support, which was personally relayed to him by Ramirez, will start next year in time for the 26th International Surfing Cup.

In his message, Fernandez confirmed the support of PSC to the international surfing event in Siargao and other parts of the country.

“We will be supporting, as we have been supporting in the past years, surfing competitions all over the country,” Fernandez said.

With the inclusion of surfing as Olympic sports, Fernandez expressed hope that Siargao as the country’s surfing capital will be able to contribute to the country’s bid to get its first-ever Olympic gold medal.

He also challenged the youth of Siargao to go into sports, particularly surfing as the island is already offering its natural facility — the huge waves at Cloud 9.

“The biggest problem we face in the development of sports especially at the grassroots level is the lack of sporting facilities,” Fernandez said.

Recently, he added the country was able to build world-class sports facilities for athletics and swimming in preparation for the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

“All the other facilities are already old,” said Fernandez, a former superstar of the Philippine Basketball Association.

In Siargao, he said there is no need to build the millions worth of facilities to develop world-class surfers as the waves in Cloud 9 already stand as the best sporting facility for surfing.

Fernandez also expressed gratitude to the World Surf League (WSL) for its unrelenting support to Siargao’s international surfing competitions.

A total of 21 Filipino surfers will compete in the event that will end on Wednesday (October 9). Alexander D. Lopez / PNA –