THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is now looking into possibilities of merging the Palarong Pambansa, Batang Pinoy and the Private School Athletics Association (Prisaa) competitions.
This was the clamor of Mindanao sports stakeholders during its consultation for the re-implementation of the Executive Order No. 63 and 64 – the creation of the National Physical Fitness and Sports Development Council (NPFSDC) in Davao City for the Mindanao governors and mayors.
The officials are amenable to this suggestion as they seek to sit down with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to explore the possibilities of having one united sports competition for the grassroots athletes.
“LGUs from Mindanao aired concerns about too much spending on regional activities such as Batang Pinoy regional competitions, the Palarong Pambansa and Prisaa. They suggested why can’t we just merge and have one national competition for grassroots athletes. Anyway, the athletes are almost the same. Most of the Batang Pinoy athletes are from private and public schools so we might consider an option of having one big national tournament, where athletes can compete in a national competition once a year,” PSC commissioner Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez told SunStar Cebu.
According to Fernandez, chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, then tasked commissioner Charles Maxey to talk to DepEd and explore the possibilities of merging Palarong Pambansa with the Batang Pinoy games.
But for the meantime, PSC had scrapped the regional eliminations of the Batang Pinoy and allow LGUs to send delegations directly to the National Finals.
“As for the Philippine Games, we will be exploring all possibilities. We will know that by April when we will be finished with the regional consultations and our brainstorming sessions. The PNG is something different because it is a competition for all athletes. But if we won’t be having regional eliminations we can always hold individual tournaments to that effect,” Fernandez, who is in charge of the PNG competition.
After two consultations, most of the complaints were directed towards the lack of financial support.
Most sports coordinators said they do not receive financial assistance financial for their sports programs especially if their mayors or the town or city council are not into sports.
“One of the suggestions that came from the Visayas is for PSC to lobby for the creation of a sports office in all LGUs. An office where budget and staff will have security of funding and tenure. Just like the disaster office, the senior citizen, drugs council, among others. These will be addressed once we will be back on the drawing board,” Fernandez said.
After the Visayas and Mindanao consultations, PSC will be in Luzon to speak with the LGUs and stakeholders in South and North Luzon.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2017.
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