Bong Go backs 2023 budgets of PSC, GAB

Sen. Bong Go on Monday expressed his support for the 2023 budgets of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Games and Amusement Board.

During a public hearing on the budget of PSC and GAB chaired by Go,  said that funding sports will enable the country to produce more elite athletes who can bring glory and honor to the Philippines.

In addition, it will aid in the government’s efforts to keep the youth away from vices like illegal drugs.

“Sabi ko nga, get into sports, stay away from illegal drugs. Isa po ito sa paraan para ipagpatuloy ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” said Go.

The senator noted how the government’s support for Philippine sports helped propel the rise of many Filipino athletes in recent international sporting competitions, including Hidilyn Diaz, Alex Eala, Carlos Yulo, and EJ Obiena, just to name a few.

Go also cited the signing of Republic Act No. 11470, establishing the National Academy of Sports in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac. He co-authored and co-sponsored the said law.

A government-run learning facility, the NAS offers a secondary education program with an integrated special curriculum on sports which was developed in close coordination with the Department of Education and PSC.

“Naisakatuparan na po ‘yung eskwelahan dyan sa Clark na makapag-aral yung mga atleta, at the same time makapag-training,” he said.

“So, training at the same time aral; aral at the same time training — walang nasasakripisyo, at ito po’y – kung magiging successful – plano naming ma-regionalize para hindi na mapalayo yung mga potential athletes natin na gusto mag-aral at the same time mag-training,” he added.

Noting that the 2023 budget for the NAS has decreased compared to its budget in 2022, the senator also expressed his support for the restoration of its initially proposed budget. Go stressed that the more support Filipino athletes receive, the more successful they can become.

“Nagbunga naman po ng maganda ang ating pagbigay ng dagdag na budget sa ating mga atleta. For the first time ever, nabanggit ko po kanina, kauna-unahang gold medal sa Olympics, kasama na po ang dalawang silver medals at isang bronze medal,” cited Go.

“The Philippines became the top performing country in Southeast Asia in the Tokyo Olympics. We also garnered several medals in the last SEA Games,” he added.

He continued by expressing hope that the country would go on to achieve similar success in the future with continued support from the government.

“Kaya naman po hinihimok ko ang ating mga kasamahan na suportahan ang budget ng PSC at GAB para tuluy-tuloy lang po ang sports development sa ating bansa,” said Go.

Go also called for more assistance for Filipino athletes in order to persuade them to compete for the country. Go cited the example of Filipino-Canadian Olympian Kayla Sanchez, who competed for Canada in the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 but has since chosen to represent the Philippines in the Games in Paris in 2024 and other international events.

While Go said that he cannot blame some professional athletes for their decision to play in other countries due to better offers as was the case with some players in the Philippine Basketball Association, he maintained that giving them more support might entice them to play for the country and in the country’s professional leagues.

He also asked athletes to still play for the national team despite playing professionally abroad.

“Napag-usapan nga po noong nakaraang sports hearing na may mga atletang nagkakaroon ng mas magandang oportunidad sa ibang bansa. Hindi din natin sila masisisi kung umalis sila,” said Go.

“Ngunit hindi po natatapos dapat diyan. Ako po ay nakikiusap sa ating mga atleta na kung tatawagin na po kayo para sa bayan na maglaro para sa ating mga kababayan at sa bandila na po. Sana ay suportahan po natin ang ating national team, at malaki po ang pwede ninyong maitulong sa ating Philippine national team,” he added.

On a related note, Go asserted that in order to entice Filipino athletes to compete and support local leagues, the organizers, with the guidance of the Games and Amusement Board, must promote and ensure the leagues’ quality and integrity.

“Masaya tayo sa ating mga players regardless if nasa PBA or NBA or whatever pro league abroad. But, at the same time, we should also help bring up and promote our own pro league, the PBA,” said Go.

Meanwhile, as the country is also set to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup next year, Go said that the government must make sure there is enough support in organizing the international event.

“We must ensure a successful hosting next year, kasama na po yung seguridad ng lahat ng mga bisita at ng ating mga kababayan,” said Go.

Additionally, he requested the PSC and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, with the help of private sector stakeholders, to make sure that the World Cup hosting is worthwhile so that the country can recoup its investment in it.

“Lalung-lalo na po na papalapit na po yung ating hosting, siguraduhin lang na dapat walang masayang at dapat malaki ang maibabalik sa atin. Return of investment sa larangan ng turismo at benepisyo ng local economy,” said Go.

“Lalo na ngayong bawat piso po ay napakahalaga po sa ating mga kababayan. Dapat tao po ang makikinabang, kung ano man pong tulong ang maibibigay ng gobyerno sa ating PSC at sa ating hosting,” he added.

Lastly, Go reminded both the PSC and GAB to fully utilize their given budgets properly in accordance with their mandates and the law to benefit athletes and the country as a whole.

“As long as the public fund is put to good use, wisely spent and used solely for its intended purpose, wala po tayong magiging problema. Unahin ninyo lang po yung kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan. Interes po ng mga kababayan natin, at interes po ng gobyerno,” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *