What does the future hold for Philippine sports under next president? Keep your fingers crossed
Except for one or two, the presidentiables have been silent about their plans for Philipine sports once elected to office. 

A FORMER chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is hopeful that the next president of the country will be able to put more focus on sports beginning in 2016.

Philip Ella Juico said the future of sports in the country in the next years will definitely depend on the list of priorities of the next Philippine leader who will be elected to office in May 2016.

“A lot will depend on the attitude of the new president towards sports,” said Juico, who was the PSC chairman from 1996 to 1998.

Juico, currently the president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, said the Aquino administration wasn’t as focused in sports simply because the government had too many concerns to address.

Under Aquino’s term, the Philippines failed to land in the top five of the Southeast Asian Games.

“The president himself said that there are too many priorities — schools, books, health, national defense, marami eh. Parang ang sinasabi niya, private sector na ang bahala diyan (sa sports), said Juico.

"He wants to create an environment for the business sector to be more successful so that if they are more successful, they will have more extra funds for sports.

“Pero derecho from government, hindi niya ginawa ‘yun because he felt that government funds should be used for other purposes and the role of the private sector is to fund elite sports,” said Juico.

[See Quest for elusive Olympic gold earns place in Poe list of priorities]

Juico said pronouncements by a few presidentiables like Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe about sports are “kinda encouraging.”

The other candidates - Rodrigo Duterte, Miriam Santiago, and Mar Roxas - have yet to lay down their program for Philippine sports.

“You hear them and what you hear is kinda encouraging na they will support and all that. Let’s see because they talk about promoting sports as part of their national agenda. The others, tahimik. It doesn’t even merit one or two sentences,” said Juico.

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"I just hope that the approach will be right and the proper people are consulted."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports