View Full Version : Rethinking the PBA Constitution

09-10-2007, 08:20 AM
PBA better as a corporation?

By Beth Celis
Last updated 01:37am (Mla time) 09/09/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- I mentioned in a recent column that last season’s PBA chair Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text, had proposed to the board the conversion of the pro basketball league from an association to a corporation.

As such, the PBA’s direction would be to create the position of president or chief executive officer, who will occupy the highest position in the new table of organization—with the commissioner under him.

Under this setup, the functions, responsibilities and powers of the commissioner would be greatly minimized.

If approved, the first step would be to register the organization at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ricky’s successor, Tony Chua of Red Bull, recognizing the merits of the proposal, intends to tackle the matter at length when the board convenes for the first time under his watch in Macau sometime this month.

* * *

“A corporation allows the PBA to be more entrepreneurial, sign contracts and establish new businesses. It will make it easier to help fund the construction of its coliseum and work with partners and banking institutions,” Ricky said in enumerating the advantages of a corporation.

Other benefits, he said, are better tax management, enhanced credibility with the public and better protection of the association’s assets.

Ricky pointed out that the PBA, as a corporation, will be fully accountable for its decisions compared to its present form as an association.

After consulting with former PBA legal counsel Butch Cleofe, now first vice president and legal division head of the Philippine Bank of Communications, Ricky said he sees no advantage for the PBA staying on as an association since there’s more room for growth as a corporation.

Ricky at present wears two hats at the PLDT: senior vice president for international carrier relations and group head for human resources.

* * *

Curious as to what the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap) is all about, I accepted an invitation to attend its first general assembly under the new leadership headed by chairman Butch Pichay and president Tisha Abundo at the Century Park Sheraton Hotel.

I found out that the Fessap is a defunct association resurrected only very recently. I was told that the membership includes both government and private schools.

Fourteen sporting events are listed in the first national championship under Pichay: badminton, basketball, bodybuilding, volleyball, karatedo, taekwondo, muaythai, table tennis, archery, arnis, judo, baseball, cycling and marathon. Several NSA heads were present during the general assembly.

The other day, I read in the newspapers that Pichay was being groomed to run against incumbent SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan in the 2008 elections.

Butch’s close associate’s have denied this and I have yet to get a confirmation from Butch himself.

09-27-2007, 09:54 AM
Corporate structure being eyed for PBA

Tito Talao

MACAU — If the Philippine Basketball Association’s plan to go corporate gets validation from a top auditing firm before the end of October, the newly-named executive board, led by chairman Tony Chua of Red Bull, could be drawing up the criteria for the selection of a league president, instead of a commissioner.

In a corporate structure, which most PBA governors seem to favor for the purpose of lighter tax impositions, the league would be under a chairman, which would serve as the chief executive officer, and a president to implement board policies as chief operating officer.

Former league deputy commissioner Sonny Barrios currently sits as officer-in-charge until a replacement for resigned commissioner Noli Eala is appointed sometime in March next year, and he continues to dispense off his functions in accordance with the setup implemented by founding commissioner Leo Prieto 32 years ago.

That arrangement could change drastically once the auditing group Sycip, Gorres & Velayo, which the PBA will tap to study the feasibility of the proposed shift to corporate management, hands over its findings five weeks from now.

Regardless, while the league’s restructuring plans remain at least a month farther off, the qualifications required of candidates for the PBA’s new commissioner, or president, may have already been agreed on unofficially from within the board’s newly-staffed executive committee.

Though Chua will still have to convene a meeting in Manila among league vice chairman Joaqui Trillo of Alaska, treasurer Robert Non of San Miguel, immediate past chairman Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text and Air21’s Lito Alvarez, it appears to have been decided that the incoming commissioner, or president, will have to possess the following qualities:

•Good morale character

•Working knowledge of the sport

•Sound managerial skills



11-04-2007, 08:36 AM
Time to rethink PBA constitution
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
Sunday, November 4, 2007

Now more than ever, there is a pressing need to examine the relevance of the PBA constitution. The league is 32 years old and has evolved to become an institution, almost a way of life. Because of its widespread popularity, the PBA has a responsibility to its stakeholders to be an enduring source of livelihood, entertainment and national pride.

Immediate past PBA chairman Ricky Vargas says the constitution should be looked into as an immediate priority but the work must be done within the context of a much broader change. The constitution can’t be redone in isolation.

If the vision is to transform the PBA from a “clearing house” into a corporation, then the entire landscape must be reviewed to suit the challenge of the times.

Vargas says if the PBA turns into a corporation, the present-day commissioner will become the president or chief operating officer with commissioners or managers for finance, operations and marketing. The chairman will be the chief executive officer.

To avoid confusion, the duties and responsibilities of the commissioner – or the president – must be clearly spelled out. With the chairman now taking a more active role in defining policies and directions, the PBA can’t afford a situation where the commissioner will stray into territory he might consider to be his turf.

In fact, Vargas says the chairman’s one-year term now appears to be too short.

* * *

“Continuity is essential,” continues Vargas. “The problem is with a one-year term, the chairman is forced to be short-sighted. Hopefully, this will be addressed by a new constitution.”

Vargas has other things in mind for the PBA’s future. His wish list includes setting the stage for team owners to get more personally involved in the league’s affairs, creating more marquee stars or icons in the mold of Sonny Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez, upgrading the standards of officiating, rationalizing the PBA’s participation in international competitions, building and operating its own coliseum, generating a strong merchandising arm, self-producing shows for TV, expanding to 16 teams, reaching out to more global markets and playing a third of the games outside Metro Manila.

Vargas says team owners share a passion for the game and it would be a major boost if they could meet even just twice a year – once before the season and a second time, in the middle of the season – to provide direction for policies set by the Board of Governors.

* * *

No one is in a better position than Vargas to lay the groundwork for the league’s future. He’s coming off a successful term as chairman with rock-solid achievements.

Vargas’ main accomplishment was getting the PBA back on track as a viable, financially-sound and healthy organization. From a nearly zero cash position only two years ago, the PBA finished last season with a balance of close to P60 million, buoyed by a 47 percent growth in income to P86.9 million excluding dividends of P32.7 million paid to teams. All the league’s payables were settled. The PBA paid amusement taxes amounting to P29.3 million and got a clean bill of health from external auditor SGV. Gate receipts increased by 17 percent and core income by nearly 10 percent.

But Vargas says the figures don’t mean a thing if the PBA isn’t geared for the future. A vision propelled by a passion for the game is what will take Asia’s first play-for-pay league to the next level.

01-24-2008, 10:00 PM

Plan to turn PBA into a corporation opposed
By Ronnie Nathanielsz

ALASKA is the first team to oppose the plan to turn the Philippine Basketball Association into a corporation, which would depend on a study the league commissioned some months ago.

The study is being done by Sycip, Gorres and Velayo.

PBA chairman Tony Chua, in a news conference following the failure to elect a new commissioner to succeed Noli Eala and the decision to appoint Officer-in-Charge Sonny Barrios until the end of the 2007-2008 season in July, said both lawyer Chito Salud and marketing man Lambert Ramos, who failed to muster the constitutionally mandated six votes needed to be appointed, could be considered for the two top positions in the corporation.

But vice chairman Joaqui Trillo said Alaska was against any plan to change the PBA from an association to a corporation.

There were other board members, who indicated the plan wasn’t feasible because of the tax implications, that would definitely hurt the league.

Chua’s letter to Salud and Ramos some 24 hours after he made public the fact that neither of them were chosen and the board had unanimously decided to elevate OIC Barrios to the position of commissioner, requested that they “keep a door open that in the near future, you will be open to the thought of sharing your expertise and leadership in this organization.”

In an attempt to justify the board’s failure to select a commissioner between the two nominated candidates, who had been asked to make presentations, face interviews and be part of the selection process for several months, Chua cited the following reasons.

It affords the board more time to study the viability of the PBA evolving into a corporation; the flexibility to re-organize the association resulting from this decision to incorporate and with the promotion of Barrios, the PBA for this season will better manage its transition and the division that may have been caused by the selection process could bring about stability.

“Please accept our apologies, gratitude and appreciation for sharing your time and thoughts during the selection process and the inconvenience this process has caused you. Your presentation to the board are inputs that will definitely help make this league which we all care for, a better one.” Chua told Salud and Ramos.

02-29-2008, 11:04 AM
Board wants PBA commish power defined
By Nelson Beltran
Friday, February 29, 2008

The PBA board tasked yesterday commissioner Sonny Barrios to draft formal guidelines on his authority on technical matters amid continuing discussion of the “James Yap controversy” which further boosted interest in the Purefoods-Sta. Lucia title showdown.

The league governors want the power of the commissioner properly defined to avoid repetition of the same problem that caused off-court conflicts in the ongoing Smart Philippine Cup finale.

The Giants and the Realtors fight for all the marbles Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Purefoods had questioned and protested Barrios’ decision to upgrade Yap’s flagrant foul penalty 1 infraction to penalty 2 causing his suspension in Game Five.

And though the board has affirmed the commissioner’s decision, Purefoods governor Rene Pardo still tackled the issue in their meeting yesterday.

Barrios, however, stood his ground, citing two cases in the past when former commissioner Noli Eala changed a referee’s call. One was back in 2004 when an ordinary foul called on Rodney Santos was upgraded to flagrant foul penalty 1 and the other last season when a flagrant foul infraction incurred by Recaredo Calimag was downgraded to an ordinary foul.

“We want the commissioner present us procedure on how to handle these things. We’re afraid even dribbling violations are brought to his attention following his handling of Yap’s case,” said Pardo.

San Miguel Corp., the mother corporation of Purefoods, pulled out a million-peso package of its advertisements in the league effective Wednesday, a move seen as a direct offshoot of the controversy.

Asked for the reason of the ad pullout during yesterday’s board meeting, Pardo, Magnolia’s Ely Capacio and Ginebra’s Robert Non said it’s the call of their marketing departments.

“We’re also considered as one of the major sponsors of the coming All-Star Week since Ryan Gregorio is coaching in the event. I’ve told them (the league) to look for other options since our marketing department has its own options,” said Pardo.

Ironically, it’s ABC 5, and not the PBA, which is directly hit by the SMC move.

The PBA is guaranteed of P80 million in revenues from ABC 5 this season whatever amount the TV network earns from its sales.

San Miguel Corp. has been ABC 5’s biggest advertiser, reportedly putting up close to P30 million in ads in PBA TV coverage per season.

02-29-2008, 10:39 PM
Based on what they want to propose in making the PBA as a corporation, it appears that they will do this as a stock and closed corporation, which means that they would really aim for the league to gain more profit once they converted it and also it could very well be only limited to corporations participating in the league. Of course, they may still admit members or expansion teams but it will have to modify the Articles of Incorporation.

I dont know, the PBA doesn't confirm this but it really appears that they are just an association or a non-stock corporation. And also, one of the league's obligation is to renew the corporation, five years before the life expectancy of the corporation expires. They can have a maximum amount of 50 years to renew.