Push for sports department grows
The House of Representatives is seriously pushing for the establishment of a Department of Sports (DoS).
Antipolo City Rep. Chiqui Roa-Puno said Thursday that the House committee on youth and sports just approved a bill seeking to create the DoS, a single agency designed to provide support and funding for Filipino athletes.
Roa-Puno, the vice chair of the committee, said the DoS would help keep Filipino athletes from seeking greener pastures abroad, similar to what happened to chess grandmaster Wesley So.
“We must not forget that while we have great athletes representing our country, we have also lost so many of them due to meager government support for sports,” Roa-Puno said.
So, the highest-ranked Filipino player, left the country in 2017 and accepted an offer to represent the United States in international meets.
Roa-Puno said the Philippines is the only Asean country without a Cabinet-level sports department as its neighbors either have a Ministry of Youth and Sports or a Ministry of Education and Sports.