TO further promote and fulfill the long-term sports development program in the country, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go filed Senate Bill 2001 or the Philippine National Games Act.
“I continue my advocacy to promote sports in the country with this bill that, I know, will further the development of our sports programs and eventually shape more athletes into champions,” Go said.
One of the goals of this bill is to institutionalize a comprehensive national sports program linking grassroots sports promotion to elite sports development initiatives.
Moreover, the Philippine Constitution mandates the State to promote physical education and encourage sports programs, league competitions, and amateur sports to foster self-discipline, teamwork, and excellence for the development of the nation. This also includes training for international competitions.
“Naniniwala ako na ang sports ay isang paraan upang mabigyan natin ng holistic growth ang ating kabataan at ilayo sila sa mga masasamang bisyo, tulad ng iligal na droga,” Go stated.
“Gusto nating lumaki ang ating kabataan na may disiplina, pakikipagtulungan, bayanihan at higit sa lahat, pagmamahal sa bansa. Alam kong sa sports din natin ito masisilayan,” he added.
The bill also encourages local government officials to promote the development of sports in the countryside. This would cover all barangays, towns, municipalities, cities, and provinces.
As compared to the Palarong Pambansa, the PNG aims to be a more inclusive national sports competition that will widen the base for talent identification, selection and recruitment of athletes, including those who are not enrolled in schools. This will hopefully constitute the national pool to be trained for international sports competition.
Once this bill becomes a law, the Philippine National Games’ management, coordination, and implementation will be carried out by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Go also hopes that this bill will address challenges of other international competitions, such as the Olympics and the Asian Games. In the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in the country in 2019, the Philippines ranked as the overall champion.
“Kung maganda ang ating sports program sa bansa, hindi malayong maraming kabataang Pilipino ang sasali na sa mga programa. Kaya naman dapat mabigyan natin ng buong suporta, lalo na sa financial aspect at development programs, ang ating mga atleta,” he explained.
Earlier, Go authored Republic Act 11470 signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte. The said law establishes the National Academy of Sports whereby its secondary education program will integrate a special curriculum on sports for young and potential Filipino athletes. The NAS will likewise provide full scholarship to qualified natural-born secondary school students.
“Patuloy kong hinihimok ang ating mga kabataan na pumasok sa sports. Sa pamamagitan ng pagsulong ng mga panukalang ito, maibibigay natin ang suporta sa kanila,” Go said.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Go has emphasized that various programs to support athletes and promote sports development must continue to ensure the welfare of this sector. He also continues to provide aid to athletes, coaches and trainers in crisis situations.
Furthermore, he has appealed to concerned national agencies for the continuous release of allowances for qualified national athletes as well as additional support for competitors and workers in the sports sectors amid the adverse effect of the pandemic on their livelihoods.
“One team, one goal, let us heal and recover as one! Patuloy ang ating suporta sa mga atletang Pilipino, hindi lamang sa kompetisyon kundi pati rin sa oras ng kanilang pangangailangan. Magbayanihan po tayo,” he ended.