CONSIDERED as one of the missing links in the country’s sports program, the Philippine High School for Sports Act of 2011 is now close to becoming a law.
Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday said the bill, which he authored along with 28 others, is now on its third reading.
The bill aims to establish the country’s first sports high school that will serve as a feeder of talents for the national team in its continuing search for the country’s first Olympic gold medal.
“There’s the National Games and the Batang Pinoy, but we are looking at the PHSS as a vehicle to provide these student-athletes with an opportunity to avail themselves of specialized education and training that are really geared toward their dreams of becoming great athletes in the future,” said Angara.
The bill calls for the creation of a sports school, which will offer secondary school scholarships to student-athletes, he said.
Angara is pushing for the PHSS to be constructed near key cities that will be accessible to the best coaches and trainers, especially those working under the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
The PHSS will be under the supervision of a board to be put up by the Department of Education, with representatives from sports associations and the private sector also getting representations.
“Other countries have their own version of a sports high school,” Angara said. “We have lagged behind for decades in this area while we have long been trying to go grassroots.”
The school will be given a seed fund of P50 million coming from the annual earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., to be supplemented by 10 percent of all unclaimed and forfeited sweepstakes and lotto prizes from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Angara also noted the country’s dependence on Filipino athletes with foreign blood, calling the practice as a stop-gap measure that only hides the true state of sports development in the country.