The Senate Committee on Finance approved Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC’s) proposed P5.216 billion 2023 allocation in the General Appropriations Act, Monday, October 10.
PSC chairman Noli Eala, during the committee hearing presided by sub-committee chair Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, underscored the need for the budget amid the country’s major international sports commitments next year.
Eala also shared his piece about the Department of Budget and Management giving the national sports agency just P218.18 million under the National Expenditure program, a far cry from the P761 million that the PSC received in the 2022 national budget.
The P3.5 billion for the construction of the Philippine Sports Training Center as required by Republic Act No. 11214 passed in 2019 was included in the PSC’s proposed budget.
“Ang amin pong budget proposal, which includes the capital outlay of the Philippine Sports Training Center, includes international competitions, totals P4.9 billion. The NEP that was endorsed by the DBM is at P218 million (Our budget proposal, which includes the capital outlay of the Philippine Sports Training Center, includes international competitions, totals P4.9 billion. The NEP that was endorsed by the DBM is at P218 million),” Eala told the committee.
He said that DBM did not endorse what they requested for the 2023 Tier 2 projects summary, which includes the national athletes’ preparation, training, and participation in major international competitions.
Proud of the Philippines
The country will compete in the 32nd Cambodia Southeast Asian Games, ASEAN Para Games, Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games, Huangzhou Asian Games, World Combat Games, ANOC World Beach Games, and Asian Beach Games, thus, the preparation, training, and participation of the athletes and coaches will have to be funded.
The year 2023 is also a qualifying year for the 2024 Paris Summer Games.
Go, who also chairs the Senate sports committee, cited the “meager” pie that the PSC gets from the national budget.
He said, “Our national sports program is important and yet only about .01 percent is being received by the PSC.” said Go.
The PSC is reportedly eyeing P100 million for the 19th Asian Games on Sept. 23 to Oct. 8, 2023, in Hangzhou, China; P72 million for the 4th World Combat Games from Oct. 5 to 14, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; P67 million for the 6th Asian Indoor Games on Nov. 17-26, in Bangkok and Chonburi, Thailand; and P56 million for the 2nd World Beach Games from Aug. 5-17 in Bali, Indonesia.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), meanwhile, sought financial support of P1.5 billion from the government for the hosting of the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup.
SBP finance hearing
The SBP requested the Senate Committee on Finance hearing.
SBP vice-president Ricky Vargas said the amount is 40 percent of the total budget of P3.7 billion earmarked by the organizing committee, with 60 percent coming from the private sector.
Vargas said the government will benefit from the FIBA hosting as the budget will be used for operating expenses such as accommodation, transportation, security, and allowances for volunteers.
“We are seeking the help of the government in a way where we think that there will be values for what money they will give us in terms of values that would redound to the economy as well,” Vargas said.