January 29, 2023

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Home » Big boost for Filipino athletes Bong Go pushes for more budget to fund PSC programs

Big boost for Filipino athletes Bong Go pushes for more budget to fund PSC programs

6 min read

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, successfully sponsored an additional budget for the Philippine Sports Commission to boost Filipino athletes’ training preparations and participation in huge international competitions this year.

PSC’s 2023 budget hike reflected in the General Appropriations Act aims to back the national athletes seeing action in the 2022 Asian Games, 2023 Southeast Asian Games, and 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, successfully sponsored an additional budget for the Philippine Sports Commission to boost Filipino athletes’ training preparations and participation in huge international competitions this year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Go was in attendance when President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act No. 11936 or the General Appropriations Act of 2023 in a December 16 ceremony held at the Malacañang Palace.

Also receiving support are athletes competing in the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games, ASEAN Para Games, Asian World Combat Games, World Beach Games, Asian Beach Games, and World Beach Games.

The training of swimmers of the embattled Philippine Swimming Inc. will be subsidized as well.

The country’s hosting of the FIBA World Cup 2023 and other grassroots programs such as Batang Pinoy, the Philippine National Games, and those under the Sports Development Council will also get a share of the government funds.

Portions of the budget are also intended for the development of sports infrastructure across the country, advanced research and development in sports sciences and sports technology, and financial assistance for athletes.

Go underscored the importance of the joint efforts of the government and the sports community in maximizing available resources to improve the welfare of the country’s athletes.

“As long as the public fund is put to good use, wisely spent and used solely for its intended purpose, wala po tayong magiging problema. Unahin ninyo lang po yung kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan. Interes po ng mga kababayan natin, at interes po ng gobyerno (As long as the public fund is put to good use, wisely spent, and used solely for its intended purpose, we will not have any problems. Just put the welfare of our countrymen first. It is the interest of our countrymen, and it is the interest of the government),” the Dabawenyo senator said.

He believes that the country will produce more world-class athletes when government invests in sports. It also aids the government’s campaign to keep the youth from engaging in dangerous vices like illegal drug use.

“Sabi ko nga, get into sports, stay away from illegal drugs. Isa po ito sa paraan para ipagpatuloy ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga (“I said, get into sports, stay away from illegal drugs. This is one of the ways to continue the campaign against illegal drugs),” Go said.

Meanwhile, newly-installed PSC chairman Richard Bachmann’s ordered the PSC staff to hasten the release of athletes’ allowances.

He made his intention clear during his first flag-raising ceremony as the national sports agency’s 12th chairman.

“Yun ang pinaka urgent na bagay para matulungan natin sila. If there is any delay of allowances of any athlete, paki delay din yung akin. My salary also. Give me the names of those athletes, give me the names of the NSAs [national sports associations], ako na yung maghahabol. Because, when I say that there is no delay in allowances, I’m going to make it happen (That’s the most urgent thing so that we can help them. If there is any delay of allowances of any athlete, please delay mine too. My salary too. Give me the names of those athletes, give me the names of the NSAs [national sports associations], I will be the one who will sue [I will fix it]. Because, when I say that there is no delay in allowances, I’m going to make it happen),” Bachmann said.

He plans to resume providing free meals for the members of the Philippine team.

He also urged the PSC employees to suggest anything that can help improve the service they provide their clients.

The PSC chief said, “I work best when I am on the ground – talking and listening to people I am supposed to serve. I would rather go to the athlete, and I also encourage our Commissioners to do the same.”

Joining Bachmann in the flag-raising event were Commissioners Edward Hayco, Olivia “Bong” Coo, and Walter Torres.

He also assured his support to the athletes while praising PSC staff as the most valuable players (MVPs) for the work that they do for the athletes.

“I want to assure everyone that I am here to be of service. Period. No personal agenda. I am here to serve our national athletes, the NSAs, and the PSC organization,” he added.

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