PSC HOSTS TOP-LEVEL CONSULTATIVE MEETING
The Philippine Sports Commission hosted a Top-Level Consultative Meeting on the Development Plan for Philippine Sports and Set-Up of the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) last September 1 and 2 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.
Around 200 participants representing both houses of Congress, national government agencies, the Philippine Olympic Committee, national sports associations, various school-based athletic leagues, sports media, and other personalities in sports graced the two-day national event wherein the PSC presented its mission and initiatives for the continued development of sports under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Addressing the assembly together with PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez during the first day were Senate Committee on Sports chairman Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, House Committee on Youth and Sports Development chairperson Conrado Estrella III, Congressman Michael “Mikee” Romero, Congressman Mark Aeron Sambar, and POC President Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.
PSC Chairman Ramirez underscored the agency’s desire to succeed in its various endeavors with the help of its numerous partners and stakeholders. He stressed the importance of the ‘key fundamentals’ in Philippine sports such as a ‘strong, genuine’ grassroots sports program, a funding mechanism for athletes’ development, the implementation and operation of the Philippine Sports Institute, and excellent training programs and exposure for the athletes.
POC President Cojuangco shared his observations on sports events held overseas, and cited the need for national athletes’ access to the latest technologies in sports training and science. He stated that “as far as sports is concerned, the Filipino is treated with respect”, as well as the importance of a clear direction that sports in the Philippines must take.
Congressman Romero advised that the Development Plan for Philippine Sports must involve ‘good, modern and rightful’ infrastructure, the ‘right’ grassroots recruitment program, financial resources, and SSS and PhilHealth retirement benefits for aging athletes, among others. Said plan, according to him, must be plotted based on the PSC’s mission and vision and consider the direction that sports in the country must take.
Congressman Sambar reported on at least four House sports-related bills filed for ratification. These are House Bill 544 on the creation of the Philippine Sports Academy, House Bill 545 on the creation of National Sports Training Centers in every region of the Philippines, House Bill 3244 on the creation of National, Provincial, City and Municipal Sports Development Councils, and House Bill 6440 on the creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Sports which shall supersede the PSC once passed into law. The transition of the PSC into a Department of Sports will enable the head of said agency to focus on all needs of athletes, NSAs, the POC and children who want to engage in sports.
Congressman Estrella emphasized the importance of patriotism and unity within the Philippine sports community. Aside from the implementation of the Development Plan for Philippine Sports, he batted for a more scientific approach towards training and nutrition for various sporting disciplines.
Senator Pacquiao reminded those in attendance that after dialogues, there should be action from the entire sports community. “Katulad ng ginagawa natin dito, pinag-uusapan ang dapat gawin. Pero pagkatapos ng pag-uusap, dapat may aksyon. Hindi lang pag-uusap. There are so many problems in thiscountry na noon pa pinag-usapan and there’s no action until now,” he noted.
The Upper House first-termer expressed the wish “to see a sports program with the greatest sports direction that will assimilate each segment of our country from the barangay up to the national level, including national government agencies that can help pitch in their respective contributions for sports excellence.”
Other notable personalities in attendance included Congresswoman Cristal Bagatsing, Congressman Christopher de Venecia, Congressman Monsour del Rosario, Congressman Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III, Congressman Jericho Jonas Nograles, Congressman Strike Revilla, Congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco, PSC Commissioners Arnold Agustin, Ramon Fernandez, Fatima Celia Hicarte-Kiram and Charles Raymond Maxey; POC Chairman Tomas Carrasco, Jr., IOC Representative to the Philippines Mikaela Cojuangco-Jaworski, PHILSPADA-Philippine Paralympic Committee President and former PSC Commissioner Michael Barredo, former Senator Nikki Coseteng, former Congressman Joselier “Yeng” Guiao, former Congresswoman Fatima Aliah Dimaporo-Cimafranca, 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, sports journalists Dyan Castillejo, Quinito Henson and Bill Velasco; National University athletic director and former PSC Commissioner Joaquin “Chito” Loyzaga, well-known sports medicine practitioner Jose Raul Canlas, PSC Sports Science Center medical director Alejandro Pineda, Jr., former world bowling champions turned national team coaches Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno and Engleberto “Biboy” Rivera, PSC acting executive director Atty. Carlo Abarquez, and PSC senior executive assistant Ronnel Abrenica.
The topics presented during the meeting were “Structures and Functions of the Philippine Sports Institute” by Marc Edward Velasco, “Insights from a Former PSC Chairman” by Dr. Aparicio Mequi, “The 1996-2000 PSC Development Plan” by Edward Kho of the Philippine Amateur Athletics Association (PATAFA) on behalf of Dr. Philip Ella Juico, and “The 2006- 2010 PSC Development Plan” by Lauro Domingo, Jr. of the PSC’s Program Research and Development Division.
Preceded by an in-house workshop among PSC middle managers and unit heads last August 30, the top-level consultative meeting’s outputs are being fully considered for the Development Plan for Philippine Sports and the PSI’s set-up which will be presented to LGU representatives during the National Consultative Meeting to be held on September 22 and 23 at Philsports Multi-Purpose Arena, Pasig City.