Close to P1B earmarked for int’l PH stints
There are eight major overseas tournaments lined up next year, and the country’s lawmakers will see to it that Team Philippines will be there fighting.
Newly elected Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino confirmed that over P900 million has been allocated for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in the 2021 national budget to fund these international multievent meets.
Aside from the Tokyo Olympics and the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, Filipino athletes will likewise be gearing up for the Asian Beach Games, Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and Asian Youth Games.
“Through our lobbying with my brother Sen. [Francis] Tolentino, Sen. Migz [Zubiri] and Sen. [Sonny] Angara, the Senate has approved a budget of P900 million plus for our international events next year,’’ said Tolentino, a representative of Cavite’s eighth district.
The country’s para athletes, under the Philippine Paralympic Committee, will compete in the Tokyo Paralympics, Asean Para Games and Asian Youth Para Games—all of them slated next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Apart from these tournaments, a total of 82 athletes from 19 sports will resume their Olympic bids in various qualifying tournaments early next year prior to the Tokyo Summer Games, which was rescheduled to next year, from July 23 to Aug. 8.
“We will be facing a lot of big competitions outside of the country next year, especially the Tokyo Olympics, where we are all hoping and praying to win our first gold [medal],’’ Tolentino said.
It was Zubiri who brought up the issue of increasing the allocation for sports during a recent Senate plenary budget hearing sponsored by Angara on the PSC’s 2021 budget.
Zubiri, president of the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation which delivered 14 gold medals in arnis during the SEA Games last year, got favorable responses from senators Joel Villanueva, Nancy Binay, Franklin Drilon, Tolentino and Angara.
Zubiri also praised PSC Chair William “Butch” Ramirez during the hearing for managing government funds properly.
The sixth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is set on May 21 to 30 in Bangkok and Chonburi in Thailand followed by the Tokyo Olympics and Tokyo Paralympics (Aug. 24-Sept. 5).
Scheduled Nov. 20 to 28, the Asian Youth Games will run in conflict with the SEA Games in Hanoi on Nov. 21 to Dec. 2. The Asean Para Games is also set in Vietnam, but has no definite calendar yet.
The Asian Beach Games is set April 2 to 10 in Sanya, China. INQ
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