SENATOR and Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports Christopher “Bong” Go, on May 18 personally attended the presentation and signing of the Deed of Donation for the land on which the Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC) will be built in Bataan.
During his speech in the event, Go assured his support for the planned sports facility, saying, “Ako naman po sa Senado, bilang Committee Chair on Sports, asahan n’yo po ang aking suporta. Bilisan na po natin. Alam n’yo po, ‘pag nagtutulungan ang ating mga atleta at ating gobyerno at private sector ay malayo po ang ating mararating,” said Go, recounting how cooperation between the government and other sectors of society resulted in the Philippines finishing first in the medal tally during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“Tulad po ng nangyari noong 2019 na nagtulungan po ang lahat ay nag-number one po tayo sa Southeast Asian Games. Ito naman pong training center na gagawin ngayon ay para po ito sa mga atleta na magpa-participate po sa Southeast Asian Games, sa Olympics,” he added.
Six lots with a total land area of around 250,000 square meters in the municipality of Bagac were donated by the Provincial Government of Bataan for the establishment of the PSTC. The facility will be constructed and completed by 2025.
Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2019, Republic Act 11214 provides for the creation of the PSTC which seeks “to promote and develop sports in the country, to achieve excellence in international sports competitions, to ensure success in the country’s quest to achieve competitiveness in the Olympic Games and to promote international amity among nations.”
Not to be confused with the National Academy of Sports, Go said that both facilities are the government’s gifts to national athletes. President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law RA 11470 which establishes the National Academy of Sports in June last year. Go was one of the principal authors of the measure.
“Baka ma-confuse kayo. Itong National Academy of Sports, isa po ako sa author nito at pinirmahan na po ni Pangulong Duterte. At good news din po, pinirmahan na rin po ni Pangulong Duterte ang para sa infrastructure na PhP729 million,” shared Go.
Earlier, Go praised President Rodrigo Duterte for his approval of the timely release of the budget for the construction of the facilities and amenities of the National Academy of Sports (NAS) at the New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac. The government will release a total of P729 million to cover the construction costs, including civil works requirements; fixtures, furniture, and equipment; and consultancy services.
“Pwede na pong mag-umpisa ang building ng National Academy of Sports. Dalawa po ito; bukod sa PSTC, another dream come true sa akin itong National Academy of Sports,” he added.
The NAS will develop and implement a secondary education program, integrated with a special curriculum on sports, targeting young Filipinos with the talent and desire to develop further their sporting skills. Full scholarship will be offered to qualified natural-born secondary school students.
Among others, the law requires that the main campus of the NAS shall be established at the existing New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac. It shall be equipped with the necessary sports facilities, housing, and other amenities according to current international standards. School buildings with sufficient number of classrooms and facilities shall also be constructed at the complex.
Meanwhile, the senator thanked the local government of Bataan, adding that he will continue to advocate for the rights and welfare of Filipino athletes, particularly in terms of the funding support they need when training for major international events. Go also expressed support for the country’s grassroots programs and enhancement of sports awareness among Filipinos.
“Ilayo po natin ang ating mga kabataan sa droga, lalung lalo na po ngayon, challenge po ito sa atin itong panahong ito dahil wala pang contact sports. Kung meron man po, kailangan i-observe ang quarantine. Napakalaking challenge po ito sa ating mga atleta, paano tayo makakapag-adjust sa new normal sa sports,” explained Go.
Go also assured national athletes, particularly those qualified to participate in the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, both this year, that they will be included in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination.
“Mga atleta, hindi po kayo mahuhuli. Nananawagan na rin ako sa IATF na isali sila sa priority list po ng pagbabakuna. ‘Wag kayo matakot sa bakuna, matakot kayo sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna po ang tanging susi at solusyon natin sa problemang ito upang unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa normal nating pamumuhay,” he said.
“Lalo na po sa mga nagmamahal sa sports, sana po ay suportahan n’yo ang pagbabakuna ng ating mga atleta. Dangal po ng bansa ang ipinaglalaban nila sa mga larong ito. Bigyan natin ang mga kababayan natin ng oportunidad na magkaisa sa larangan ng sports,” said Go.
To end, Go assured his and Duterte’s continuing commitment to sports development in the country, saying, “Asahan n’yo po ang aming suporta ni Pangulong Duterte. Nandito lang po kami, tutulong sa inyo.”
“Target po natin ngayong end of the year po ma-achieve natin ang herd immunity. But we need the cooperation of every Filipino. Hindi po kaya ng gobyerno lang, please trust your government. Magtulungan lang tayo,” he ended.
Prior to the event, Go also attended the launch of the 112th Malasakit Center at Mariveles Mental Wellnes and General Hospital in Mariveles, Bataan. He also visited and distributed assistance to displaced workers in the said town.