Mikee Romero pushes private sector aid for P1-B training center
PARTY-LIST Rep. Mikee Romero plans to invite the country’s wealthiest sports patrons to a gathering in hopes of forging a stronger partnership between the private sector and the government.
The wealthy patrons’ first cooperative target: Help put up a billion-peso sports training facility for top Filipino athletes.
“I will call on these [sports] ‘godfathers’ to a caucus or forum, invite them and let them commit—if we can come up with a seed money of P1 billion for the new training center,” said Romero in yesterday’s PSA Forum.
A sports patron himself who has supported shooting, cycling, volleyball and polo and owns the GlobalPort franchise in the PBA, Romero heads the 1Pacman party list which shone in the last elections on a platform to help marginalized athletes and create more jobs.
The Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee last year identified a potential venue for the training center in Clark Field, Pampanga.
Both sports committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives back the plan to build a training center that will replace the old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
“It should be a joint government-private sector undertaking,” said Romero in the forum backed by Accel, Pagcor and San Miguel Corp.
“We need to have the private sector, led by people like Danding Cojuangco, Ramon Ang, Manny Pangilinan, Wilfred Uytengsu and Jean Henri Lhuillier to partner with government.”
According to Romero, the training facility should be in place before the country hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“I’m not really concerned about the title; I’m more concerned about the infrastructure that we should build for the athletes.”
Pangilinan, Cojuangco and Ang heavily support basketball while Lhuillier has poured resources into tennis and softball.
Uytengsu is the country’s No. 1 triathlon supporter and owns the Alaska franchise in the PBA like Cojuangco, Pangilinan and Ang.
Pangilinan supports boxing, taekwondo, badminton, cycling, football and running, among others, through his sports foundation.