BILLS that aim to establish sports academies in the provinces of Cebu, Misamis Occidental, Surigao del Norte, Cavite and Davao del Norte passed third and final reading in the Senate on Monday.

These are House Bills 4461 (a bill establishing Talisay Sports Academy and Training Center in Talisay City, Cebu); 4292 (a bill establishing Misamis Occidental Sports Academy in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental); 4307 (a bill establishing Siargao Island Sports Academy and Training Center in Dapa, Siargao del Norte); and 4605 (a bill establishing Alfonso Sports Academy and Training Center in Alfonso, Cavite); and 4308 (a bill establishing Davao del Norte Regional Sports Academy in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of Senate committee on games, amusement and sports, said the measures "would boost the morale of young athletes, especially those from the provinces and would encourage them to develop their skills."

"With these facilities, many young athletes could adequately prepare for a genuine career in sports, and eventually improve their chances in the local and international arena," he said.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the measures are part of Congress' efforts to "expand the reach of the nation's athletic programs and enhance the Philippine's competitiveness in major sporting events." (Sunnex)