SEN. Christopher “Bong” Go wants a bigger budget for programs to enhance grassroots sports development, improve facilities and further support athletes.
Earlier, the senator underscored the critical role of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in promoting sports as a key factor in national development.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports raised the need to provide adequate funding for grassroots sports development and the country’s participation in international competitions.
He noted that the 2023 PSC budget should only be P200 million. But he sought an additional budget for the commission, and it received an additional P1 billion, including the fund for the Philippines’ hosting of the FIBA World Cup 2023.
Go said that sports “can serve as a deterrent for the youth against engaging in illegal drugs and other harmful activities.”
The PSC had proposed a P3.3-billion budget for 2024, but the Department of Budget and Management only approved P210 million — more than 93 percent less than the original proposal.
Go noticed that some sports facilities need some repairs, such as the Philippine Institute of Sports Multi-Purpose Arena.
He also urged the government to “construct comfortable housing for the athletes” instead of spending on flood control projects in areas where there are no people.
Go called on the PSC to maximize the facilities at New Clark City, initially used for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
He reiterated his support for the establishment of the Philippine Sports Training Center.
He lauded the FIBA World Cup 2023 event organizers. “If discipline is observed, we can do it; we can be well-organized.”
Further, Go said the Philippines has grabbed international attention through its “successful hosting of sports events,” particularly the FIBA World Cup lately.
He said the FIBA event helped a lot in promoting the Philippines. “For 17 days, the entire world was focused on our nation because the country is very beautiful.”
The senator commended Gilas Pilipinas for earning a spot in the Olympic qualifying tournament.