AN independent lawmaker is batting for the revival of wide-ranging school-based sports programs, saying these would help fight illegal drug abuse, foster wholesome physical activities among the youth and sustainably produce superior Filipino athletes in the years ahead.
“There’s no question highly dynamic school-based individual and team sports will keep many of our children away from drugs, while allowing us to spot and develop future athletes at an early age,” said Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza ahead of the November 30 opening in Manila of the 30th South east Asian Games (SEAG).
Atienza urged Congress to quickly restore comprehensive sports programs across all public as well as private elementary and high schools by bringing back the Bureau of Physical Education and School Sports (BPESS).
The BPESS was abolished in 2001, when Congress passed the Governance of Basic Education Act that reorganized the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) into what is now the Department of Education (DepEd).
“Congress clearly blundered when it closed down the BPESS,” said Atienza, former three-term mayor of Manila.
Atienza earlier filed House Bill (HB) No. 1108, which seeks to rebuild the BPESS under a reinstated DECS in lieu of the DepEd.