THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 4 January 2012, Wednesday
Happy new year, racing fans! Let’s start 2012 on a positive note and take a look at a couple of interesting programs that the Philippine Racing Commission implemented during the latter half of last year.
First, a backgrounder – Philracom is a government agency under the Office of the President created in 1974 by Presidential Decree No. 420. Its mandate is to supervise and regulate the sport and, to a certain extent, the industry of horseracing and breeding.
Through the decades, in an effort to be more effective and deliver services that will uplift and benefit the sport and the industry, the Philracom and its changing leadership have come up with programs to benefit the racing community as well.
The present Commission under chairman Angel L. Castano Jr., in the few months since they assumed office in September 2011, has implemented two programs that achieve objectives for transparency, integration, and service.
The “Dalaw Kapamilya Program” held last November was like a reverse “show and tell”, where Philracom employees brought their families to the office for the day for an orientation. Nearly 80 family members attended the event, which started with welcome remarks by chairman Castano and executive director Jess Cantos, followed by a tour of the office and its different departments.
Aside from providing awareness to dependents about what Mom and Dad do at work the entire day (and some nights), it also introduces them to the sport and industry and gives an overview about what it is and what it contributes to society in general.
The second program was a medical mission held last December 2 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite, assisted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The mission’s beneficiaries were Philracom licensees – grooms, helpers, farriers, exercise riders, and other direct workers in racing and their families. The total people served numbered 302, with 124 of them being grooms and helpers, 92 infants and children, and 58 women/housewives.
The Philracom mission team included 19 agency employees, 12 physicians (two
from MJC, one from PCSO, and seven volunteers), and seven volunteer nurses. Transport of personnel and equipment was made possible by the loan of vans from MJC and the Philippine Race Horse Trainers Association, in addition to Philracom’s own vehicles. PCSO sent a mobile clinic and ambulance, and donated medicines.
Another Philracom medical mission will be held in February, at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. Other services will be added, among them dental care (extractions), minor surgery (for wounds), x-ray, and free haircuts.
These two programs – the Dalaw Kapamilya and medical missions – are associated with the new direction of the Commission as envisioned in its “Road Map for 4Q 2011 and Beyond” in its TRIP campaign (transparent, responsive, innovative, and policy-driven).
To help them come up with strategies and action plans, the Philracom has invited industry stakeholders to pool their inputs at a multi-sectoral meeting on Monday, to be attended by representatives from the racing clubs (MJC and PRC) and horseowners’, jockeys’, and trainers’ associations.
We look forward to the other innovative and beneficial plans that Philracom will have for the community this year. ***