To address the various challenges that confront Philippine sports, 1 Pacman partylist Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero proposes the creation of a Department of Sports, a cabinet-level agency that will provide leadership in the promotion and development of sports in the country and set the parameters to address the needs of our athletes, coaches, trainers and sports officials.
Under House Bill No. 287, Romero intends that the Department of Sports will be responsible for promulgating policies that will help the country improve its performance in international competitions, find solutions to the problems besetting Philippine sports including the lack of a comprehensive national sports program, the need to enhance the partnership with various sectors involved in sports, obsolete training methods, lack of modern and high equality training facilities, equipment, the sport venues.
“This bill seeks to create the Department of Sports, the government entity that shall lead the implementation of policies on the promotion and development of sports and health fitness programs in the country. It is high time for the government to prioritize sports in the national agenda, and consider sports as an integral factor in nation-building,” Romero said
The 1 Pacman representative cited the seeming deterioration of Philippine sports as shown by its lackluster performance in recent international competitions.
“There was a time when our athletes are considered serious contenders in any sporting event we participate, unfortunately, those times had passed,” Romero pointed out. He said that since Mansueto Velasco won a silver medal in boxing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Philippines has not won a single medal in the succeeding editions of the Summer Olympics.
When the country won its first ever overall championship in the Southeast Asian Games during the 2005 edition held in Manila, Philippine sports seemed to have reached its threshold and unfortunately, the experiences and the lessons learned in earning that victory were not sustained.
“The Philippines Is rich in talent as can be proven by the many sports heroes that the country has produced in various sports disciplines. The success of the Honorable Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao in boxing, Gilas Pilipinas in Basketball and Azkals in football have brought pride to the country. The Philippines have always impressed international and foreign sports personalities with our remarkable achievements. With our rich talent pool for any sporting event, we can be a perennial face in any sports competition we join,” Rep. Romero stressed.
According to Romero, more than 25 years ago, or on Jan. 24, 1990, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 6847, otherwise known as the “Philippine Sports Commission Act,” which created the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). But, unfortunately, the PSC seems to fail in living up to its mandate of providing leadership, formulating the policies and setting the priorities and direction of all national amateur sports promotion and development, particularly giving the emphasis on grass-roots participation; encouraging wide participation of all sectors, government and private, in amateur sports promotion and development;and supplement government appropriations for sports promotion and development.
This House Bill No. 287 aims to establish a single, integrated and unified national sports body for the promotion and development of sports program to incentivize Filipino athletes and ensure the extensive participation of wider sectors of the society with the end view of helping Filipino athletes attain their fullest potential.