Ramon "Tats" Suzara will be leading local volleyball for at least the next 12 months after being elected the interim head of the newly-formed Philippine National Volleyball Federation on Monday afternoon.
Suzara was unanimously elected in the electoral process brokered by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and held at the East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Parañaque.
"I am delighted to be entrusted with the leadership of this new volleyball federation, the [PNVF]," said Suzara in his acceptance speech.
"I welcome all the volleyball stakeholders here... [they] will be joining me and the newly-elected board members in order to take the next step in changing the landscape of the sport in the country," he added.
Also elected unopposed were LVPI secretary-general Ariel Paredes as chairman, PVF vice-president Dr. Arnel Hajan, who will get the same position, and Don Caringal as secretary-general.
Rod Roque and Yul Benoza of the LVPI, on the other hand, were elected treasurer and auditor, respectively. Ricky Palou and Tony Boy Liao of SportsVision were elected board members. Rounding out the list are Charo Soriano, Carmela Gamboa, Fr. Vic Calvo, O.P., and Karl Chan.
Atty. Wharton Chan of kickboxing, on the other hand, was elected POC representative.
One of the first orders of business for the PNVF is to form commissions tasked to handle different aspects of the sports, based on the rules of volleyball's governing body.
"For this new federation we would like to follow the guidelines of the FIVB to have commissions, and the national team is one of the most important things, [for] indoor and beach volleyball [which] we will include [because it's] volleyball also," said Suzara.
"I think listening from the POC, who was leading this unification and this democratic election, I will do my best as the new president. I've been in volleyball for the last 30 years, local and international and with the three groups here now, with the LVPI and the PVF, I think we are all in one, in making the sport again, proud," added Suzara.
"But again, I'd like to emphasize that we don't only focus on the national team, we focus also the developments in provincial [level] because they were left out for many years."
The PNVF will be formally recognized by the POC in their executive board meeting on Tuesday and general assembly on Jan. 27, and by the FIVB in their World Congress slated for Feb. 5-7.
POC Sec. Gen. Edwin Gastanes now hopes that the election will halt internal rife between the LVPI and PVF, which had been going on for about five years now.
"You cannot have two heads, you cannot have two masters. This is sport under the IOC charter, it must be governed by one NSA per country. For the last five years, what do we have? We had the PVF. We had the LVPI, fighting. Who is suffering? Volleyball and the athletes. Newly elected officers are trying to do something. This is the direction of our POC President, rather than nothing, we are hoping to unify volleyball," explained Gastanes.