Trillanes rallies support for Sports BillBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SEN. ANTONIO Trillanes yesterday expressed hope that the bill creating the Department of Sports gathers support from both houses of Congress and the final stamp of approval from President Aquino.
Known as Senate Bill 3092, the bill seeks to replace the Philippine Sports Commission and pave the way for the creation of a department primarily dedicated to sports.
Under the present setup, the PSC serves only as a government funding arm for the training and participation of athletes in important international sporting competitions aside from spending for the training expenses of athletes seeking slots in the national pool.
Trillanes said the bill will cover all aspects of sports development in the country with the Amateur Sports Development Bureau to look after grassroots development and an International Sports Development Bureau that will take care of athletes’ training for overseas competitions.
“The PSC chair, at present, holds a rank equivalent to an undersecretary,” Trillanes said. “Once Senate Bill 3092 becomes a law, a new department dedicated to sports will have a leader who will be as close as he can be to the President and hold a position with the rank of a secretary, giving sports an even greater access to the President’s list of priorities.”
Trillanes also believes the law will complete the cycle from the time of the late President Corazon Aquino, under whose administration the PSC was created.
An initial budget of P400 million has been proposed by Trillanes for the Department of Sports, the same budget given the PSC when it was formed in 1992.
“If the bill gets signed by President Aquino into a law, it will also mark a complete cycle as it was his mother who made the PSC possible,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, met with sports leaders and discussed SB 3092 during a recent hearing attended by Frank Elizalde, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines and PSC chair Ricardo Garcia.