ITF recognizes Villanueva as PHILTA acting president

MANILA, Philippines - The International Tennis Federation has acknowledged Randy Villanueva as acting president of the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta), according to a press release.

Villanueva will assume the term of resigned president Edward Olivarez, which runs until 2018, enabling the erstwhile Philta vice president to immediately call for a summit of all stakeholders of the sport. 

Villanueva says he he will open the doors for more tennis stakeholders by overhauling the Philta bylaws and constitution “which have become outdated and flawed.”

He said the existing bylaws and constitution “is run by only a handful of people all based in Metro Manila and who don’t represent the entire tennis population.

“We want the association to be more hardworking and more responsive to a broader population,” said Villanueva who added that the amendments will be followed for a proper electoral process that will widen the representations of the board and its officers.

Based on existing Philta charter, there are only 12 stockholders and 12 general membership who also comprised the officers including the president, vice president, secretary general and treasurer.

“If anyone wants to run and he has the right intention, he can present his plans and platforms to a proper general membership and convince the general membership,” said Villanueva.

“Our goal is to have 100,000 members which is very achievable for a big sport like tennis,” said Villanueva who received the congratulatory email from ITF president David Haggerty last July 30.

Haggerty practically gave recognition to Villanueva after the Filipino official emailed him a letter explaining the situation in Philta, saying “congratulations on your assumption as President.”

Among those Villanueva planned is to gather regional representatives as well school sports like UAAP and NCAA for a summit as soon as possible. Villanueva said they will ask the Philippine Olympic Committee for guidance.

Villanueva is also planning to launch a massive database among all tennis players and coaches.

Joining Villanueva in the call for change is Philta chair Jean Henri Lhuillier who is the part-owner of the Philippine Mavericks in International Tennis Premier League, team sponsor/manager of the Davis Cup teams and title sponsor of PCA Open.

Lhuillier is also bankrolling ITF Futures and ATP Challenger tournaments the past two years plus some 40 other annual tournaments.

Villanueva also helped broker talks between Lhuillier and IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupati which made it possible for the country to have a franchise in the breakthrough tournament. –