UNDER the leadership of newly-appointed Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Noli Eala, the agency shall doggedly ensure that its mandates are implemented.
Eala reiterated the agency’s commitment to “care for Philippine sports like no other” as he briefed Senators on the status of amateur sports in the country in a hearing called by Senate Committee on Sports Chairman Senator Bong Go yesterday.
Eala talked about “a program which will ensure that when our athletes win, the entire country wins. And this is the theme on which my administration will center on.”
“I’m seeking to ensure sustainability and the success of our programs for the long term. It is our mission to carry out the mandates given to us by law to develop and promote sports in the grassroots as a tool towards nation-building and unity, and to ensure full and enhanced support for our (elite) athletes in their continued quest to bring honor and glory to our country,” said Eala.
Senators pledged their support for the Philippine Sports Commission, its 2023 budget as well as the country’s hosting of the FIBA World Cup in 2023.
They also expressed their joy and pride on the historic win of Eala’s niece, Alex Eala who made history by becoming the first Filipino to win a US Open Grand Slam title when she became the junior women’s singles champ.
“I am heartened that this committee (Senate Committee on Sports) has provided so much support to Philippine sports, not only in legislative initiatives but also in terms of financial assistance,” Eala said, acknowledging the role of the Senate’s support in the recent successes of the country in sports.
Senator Go reiterated his belief that “investing in sports not only enable us to develop world-class athletes, but it also helps us in keeping our youth away from illegal drugs and other harmful vices.”
He also stressed that sports have the power to unite people, and mentioned instances when success was attained because people came together behind the flag.
Vice Chairperson on Senate Committee on Sports Senator Alan Cayetano, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senators Mark Villar, Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Francis Tolentino and Bato dela Rosa all manifested their commitment of support to the sports agency, the FIBA World Cup 2023 hosting and Philippine sports in general.
Meanwhile, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday sought the ‘fastbreak’ amendment of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) charter so that the government can better provide a regular and annual budget for the body to invest more in Philippine sports.
“I-amend na lang natin [ang Charter ng PSC) para diretso ang transfer ng pera. If PSC was a department rather than a commission, it would have a regular budget every year. In mathematics, the closest distance between two points is a straight line, eh every year paikot-ikot tayo,” Cayetano manifested during the Senate Committee on Sports organizational meeting.
Cayetano said the government needs to be consistent in spending on sports facilities and athletes, and not only when the country earns the right to host any international games.
“We cannot wait for us to host another SEA Games, another Asian Games para gumastos (para as Philippine sports). It would be a privilege to host the Basketball World Games next year. But kung maghohost lang ba tayo gagastos? Dapat tuloy-tuloy na ‘yan,” he added.
Cayetano expressed support for the measure put forward by his colleagues regarding the PSC charter.