MARHO - PHILTOBO – KDJM
PRESS RELEASE (National News, Metro News, Sports)
5 January 2007 – AFTER a consultative meeting with their members, the racehorse owners’ groups Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO), Philippine Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Organization (Philtobo), and Klub Don Juan de Manila (KDJM) declared a “racing holiday”starting this weekend, meaning that their participating members did not declare their horses to run at Santa Ana Park for Saturday and Sunday (January 5 and 6), while previously-declared horses were scratched or withdrawn.
At a press conference held at the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club today, the overwhelming majority of horseowners strongly declared that their action manifests their protest against detrimental policies and directives implemented since 2007 by the sport’s governing body, the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom).
Philracom chairman Florencio Fianza, a retired police general, has polarized himself again from horseowners due to his non-consultative leadership preceding from a perceived lack of full knowledge and understanding of the industry.
Horseowners decry Philracom’s lack of a comprehensive racing program that will cover all aspects of racing involving all sectors of the industry, the distribution of prize money which did not redound to the benefit of the many, and the lack of a racing calendar for 2008, which in previous administrations usually came out in the last quarter of the previous year.
The entire industry is also alarmed by the stagnation in sales since Fianza took over in 2006. Prior to Gen. Fianza’s appointment to the Philracom, the industry had been enjoying an average of 13.52% growth rate from 1999 to 2005.
In 2006, Fianza’s first year of office, it dipped sharply by -2.78%, while in 2007 a meager 1.17% increase was registered, despite Philracom being allocated the biggest budget in its history. In 2005, Philracom’s budget in 2005 P38.45 million, while in 2007 it was P80.82 million, a massive 114% increase.
MARHO president Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur C. Abalos will convey to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the horseowners’ appeal for an immediate revamp of the Philracom leadership, which many feel has failed in its mandate to spur industry growth and significantlly increase government revenues.
Also aired were other grievances that were presented to President Arroyo in openly-published letters dated March 5 and July 19 of last year which to date are still unresolved and unacted upon, which horseowners feel should merit priority attention for an industry that contributes close to P2 billion to government coffers annually.
Horseowner-members of the three organizations own roughly 70% of the total racehorse population, and their combined strength and influence significantly represents more than enough in numbers to affect and paralyze the over P8 billion per year racing industry while the racing holiday remains in effect.