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Questions to the next president

November 22, 2021 Ed Andaya 520 views

AndayaWHENEVER sportswriters gather late at night and the conversations turn, as it will, to discussions of the “best years in Philippine sports and the president who made them happen”, you can always expect someone to give a long list of heroes and their achievements of yesteryears.

For example, one would say that “President Marcos was probably the best Filipino president for sports as he ushered in a golden era of local sports with the establishment of Gintong Alay and its successful godfather system.”

Another one may say President Corazon Aquino was responsible for Republic Act 6847, or the law creating the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in 1990.

Or that President Ramos issued Executive Orders No. 63 that promotes the “Sports for All” canpaign, the launching of first Philippine Sports Summit in Baguio City in 1992 and first Philippine National Games in 1994.

President Estrada will be remembered in the wonderful world of sports for RA No. 8757, or the law establishing the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame on November 25, 1999 to “immortalize the Filipino sports heritage and provide an inspiration to all Filipinos.”

President Macapagal-Arroyo, for her part, issued EO 651 to strengthen the country’s grassroots development program of the PSC in 2007 and RA 9750 declaring arnis as the national sport in 2009.

Of course, President Duterte’s lasting legacy in sports is winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal after 97 years thru weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. The country also bagged the overall championship in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.

And while we’re thinking about it, here are a few questions I’d like to ask the six leading presidential candidates in next year’s national elections– former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Vice-President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Sens. Manny Pacquiao, Ping Lacson and Bong Go.

— First, what do you think about the state of Philippine sports then and now?

— What do you think should be done to raise it to world-class level?

— Regardless of the tight national budget, how much money are you willing to spend for sports development? S hould the present budget be bigger or smaller

— What do you think about RA 6847, or the law that created the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in 1990? Who do you think should lead it during your watch?

–What can you say about the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and its role of supervising and regulating professional sports in the country? Do you agree with the plan to create a separate body: Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission (PBCSC)?

— What can you say about government intervention in sports? Do you completely agree with the Olympic charter prohibiting it?

— Do you agree that mass-based sports and elite sports should not compete with one another?

— What do you think.about the still- unliquidated financial assistance given to the NSAs? Do you plan to bring them to court after consultation with the PSC and Commission on Audit?

— Are you in favor of getting naturalized athletes and tapping them to represent the country? How about hiring foreign coaches?

— Have you ever played sports during your younger days? What is your favorite sport?

— Who is your favorite athlete?

Briefly now, tell me what you think when I mention the following sports personalities:

— Manny Pacquiao the boxing champion.

— Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

— Philippine Olympic Committe (POC) president and Tagaytay City Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

— Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.

— International Olympic Committee.(IOC) official Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.

— San Miguel Cotporation head and well-known sports patron Ramon S. Ang.

— PLDT/Smart Communications head and noted sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan.

— Basketball legend Robert Jaworski.

— Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

— Filipino-American chess chanpion Wesley So

— Filipino-Japanese golf champion Yuka Saso.

— Over-staying and under-achieving sports leaders.

I hope our presidential aspirants will find timne to address the issues for the sake of sports.

After all, sports and politics have gone hand in hand from the very beginning.

And as former President Ramos himself said: “What kind of politics must go along with sports– the promotion of self-interest, or the forging of national excellence, national unity and international brotherhood through sports?

NOTES — Advance happy birthday to my youngest son Brian Paul, who will celebrate on Thursday, November 25. An
avid Russell Westbrook fan, Brian joins me every other morning in watching our favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA…

Happy 75th birthday to Herminia Dieron of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, who celebrated last November 20. Herminia is the loving mother of Annie Dieron-Andaya…

Congratulations to Ramon Ypil, who was promoted as Assistant Chief of the Public Information Office of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) recently. Ramon is the husband of my only sister Mary Grace Andaya.

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