THE overwhelming support of the Senate to increase the 2022 budget allocation of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) only shows that the national sports agency is doing great in its mandate.
This is indeed a very welcome development not just for the PSC Board of Commissioners and staff but also for the national athletes who represent the country in various international competitions.
It's a great morale booster for those preparing for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Asian Games, and Paris Olympics qualifying tournaments, among other significant competitions.
In the recent Senate Committee on Finance hearing, Dabawenyo Senator Christopher "Bong" Go underscored that the budgetary support he spearheaded and then supported by his fellow senators, at last, produced the best results for Team Philippines in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - one gold medal, two silvers, and one bronze.
Investing in sports, according to him, will not only allow our country to develop more world-class athletes who can bring pride, honor, and medals but it will also keep our youth away from illegal drugs and other harmful vices.
Go advocated for the inclusion of P100 million that was later increased to P250 million during last year's deliberation of budget to beef up support for the athletes' preparations for the Olympics and other international events. He also supported the allocation of an additional P7.945 million budget for Paralympics preparations.
"Kaya naman po hinihimok ko ang ating mga kasamahan na suportahan ang budget ng PSC at GAB para tuluy-tuloy lang po ang sports development sa ating bansa. For these reasons, I have no objections to the proposed budget, at kung pwede pa pong dagdagan ay dagdagan pa po natin. Ako po ay natutuwa dahil nagagamit ng husto ang pondong ipinagkaloob sa ating mga ahensya noong nakaraang taon despite the limited budgetary resources. This year, I am sure that our agencies will likewise utilize the budget prudently and wisely for the benefit of our nation," Go said.
Senate Committee on Finance chair Senator Joel Villanueva lauded the PSC for discovering champions and sports heroes for a nation hungry for hope and inspiration.
Majority Leader Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Sen. Pia Cayetano, and Sen. Francis Tolentino also proposed to approve the budget for plenary presentation "with reservations to increase the budget of PSC as requested to ensure that the momentum for next year international competition will not be prejudiced or compromised.”
PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez is thankful to have found genuine allies in sports in the Senate.
With ample support from the government and collaborative efforts from the private sector, we might again pull off surprises in the China Asiad next year. We sure are looking forward to that!