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Senators rally behind bigger budget for sports

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 07:22 PM September 28, 2021

Athletes and officials from the Philippines march during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games) at the Philippine Arena on November 30, 2019. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

With the aim of performing well in the Paris 2024 Olympics, several senators have backed the call for a higher allotment for the Philippine Sports Commission during the Senate Committee on Finance hearing led by Sen. Joel Villanueva.

The senators are hoping to bankroll the national athletes’ participation in three major tournaments that will serve as pit stops to Paris.

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These tournaments are the 19th Asian Games, 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and the delayed 31st Southeast Asian Games.

“We have witnessed that the budget that was allocated for our athletes bore fruit. For the first time ever, we won a gold medal in the Olympics with two silver medals and a bronze,’’ said Senate Committee on Sports Chair Christopher Lawrence “Bong’’ Go in his manifestation.

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Majority Leader Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Francis Tolentino and Sen. Villanueva backed Go’s call to increase the appropriation for sports next year.

Together, these senators have proposed to approve the budget for plenary presentation “with reservations to increase the budget of the PSC as requested to ensure that the momentum for next year’s international competitions will not be prejudiced or compromised.’’

PSC Chairman William Ramirez has expressed gratitude to the senators for their support to increase the 2022 PSC budget and their recognition of the vital role that the PSC played in achieving the country’s historic triumph at the Tokyo Olympics.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino recently submitted the letter of request for supplementary funding in the General Appropriations Act for five major sports tournaments in 2022 to Senate President Vicente “Tito’’ Sotto and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

Majority of the P450-million additional budget requested by the POC will be spent on the Aimag in Thailand on March 10-20 (P150 million) and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Sept. 10-25 (P270 million).

Tolentino said another P200 million will be utilized for the postponed SEA Games, which Vietnam is expected to host early next year.

Also included in the budget proposal are P5 million for the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 4-20, P10 million for The World Games (TWG) on July 7-22 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA and P15 million for the Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Shantou, China on Dec. 20-28.

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TAGS: AIMAG, Asian Games, paris 2024, SEA Games
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