High School for Sports gets House approvalBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
AMID calls that sports should be incorporated in the school curriculum, the House of Representatives recently approved the establishment of a Philippine High School for Sports which will serve as a breeding ground of talents for the national team.
Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said the passage of House Bill No. 3825, an Act creating the PHSS, would finally open the door for student-athletes to avail themselves of specialized education and training geared toward the continuing search for the country’s first Olympic gold medal.
Angara said the bill on PHSS, which he authored together with 28 other congressmen, would address the clamor of sports leaders that sports should be given priority in schools following the country’s latest disastrous Olympic campaign in London.
“Other countries have their own version of a sports high school,” said Angara. “We have lagged behind for decades in this area.”
For the fourth straight Olympics, the Philippines came home without a medal. Boxer Mansueto Velasco was the last to bag one, a silver, in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“The PHSS will provide the opportunity for student-athletes to become great athletes in the future and a better chance for us to win a medal in the Olympics,” said Angara.
A parallel bill in the Senate designed to create a PHSS has not been approved yet.
Once the bill is approved by both houses of Congress, the school will be provided with a seed fund of P50 million to be drawn from the annual earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. It will be supplemented by 10 percent of proceeds from all unclaimed and forfeited sweepstakes and lotto prizes of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Angara said the PHSS, which will be supervised by a board of trustees formed by the Department of Education, should be able to produce homegrown talents capable of conquering the world stage.
During the term of former Philippine Sports Commission chair William Ramirez, the sports agency formed the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) where grassroots talents were nurtured to supply athletes for the national team.
Ramirez stepped down after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The PSI has since been shelved by the present PSC board.