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GAB ends MOA with Thai philanthropist for retired boxing champs financial aid

FROM NARIS WITH LOVE. A boxer receives his grocery items from former world boxing champion and now Highland Boxing Promotions trainer Joma Gamboa (right) and the late kickboxing trainer Manny Sanidad in August last year. The grocery items were a gift from Thai philanthropist Naris Singwangcha who stopped his monthly stipend to former world boxing champions including Gamboa. Photo from Brico Santig’s Facebook Page

The Games and Amusement Board has terminated a memorandum of agreement it signed with Thai philanthropist Naris Singwangcha in 2018 where the latter agreed to provide a PhP3,000 monthly financial aid to 20 former world boxing champions.

In GAB Resolution 2021 – 04, approved during virtual meeting on April 15, chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra and two commissioners approved the termination of the MOA they entered to in 2018 granting a monthly financial aid to former boxing world champions.

The resolution was made upon the request of Singwangcha after he said he will terminate the financial aid to the retired boxers due to difficulties in his business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the resolution, Singwangcha said that he can now send the last tranch including the money he was unable to send the last eight months.

The Thai said that he will be giving 10 months instead or a sum of at least PhP30,000 per beneficiary but it will be the last.

Singwangcha owned up to being late in giving the last eight months of financial aid that has prompted one boxer-beneficiary to speak up on media and even asked for Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s help in the release of his “pension”.

GAB said the money is delayed and can only give the PhP3,000 monthly financial assistance once the benefactor gives it.

The new resolution thus has rescinded Resolution 2018 – 02 signed in January 28, 2018 wherein GAB thru Mitra entered into a MOA with the Singwngcha Foundation for the provision of a monthly allowance to boxers who held world titles in recognition of their contributing to the Philippine boxing community.

In a letter attached with the resolution sent to Singwangcha, GAB said that it “would like to extend its sincerest thanks to you for your noble deed of providing much needed financial assistance to our former Filipino world boxing champions. We are certain that they, our former world champions, will forever be grateful for the financial assistance you provided them for the last several years.”

GAB said that it “understand(s) your own financial challenges and hardships, as mentioned in your last letter, given this time of pandemic, which have led you to decide to cancel/discontinue with said assistance.”

GAB added that it awaits the last tranch of financial aid which will be distributed to the 11 boxer-beneficiaries who availed of it that include former world champion Luisito Espinosa, Highland Boxing Promotion trainer Joma Gamboa, Rolanda Pascua and the now 75 year old Erveto Salavarria, among others.

Salavaria, through one of his children, personally thanked the GAB for its help in providing them the monthly stipend for the past two years although saddened with its termination but “understands that the situation of the global pandemic crisis is not within the reigns of Mr. Singwangcha.”

Highland Boxing Promotions head Brico Santig that this might not be the end of Singwangcha’s support for Filipino boxers, since he will be sending dome funds for the “community pantry” that will go to affected boxers, trainers and match makers from all over the country including Baguio and Benguet.

In August last year, Singwangcha provided money for grocery items that benefited boxers, trainers and match makers. He also provided boxing meets and equipment for the Filipino boxing community affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and whose fights were cancelled.

“He will continue to help us despite the economic difficulties he experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Santig added.

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