SO which body is the one in charge of the country’s grassroots development program in sports?
Apparently no one among the Department of Education (DepEd), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Party list Rep. Mikee Romero learned about this upon gracing the consultative meeting among sports leaders last week and during the recent budget hearing of the DepEd for 2017.
He noted how both the PSC and DepEd are pointing at each other as the lead government agency in charge of discovering and developing potential talent from the grassroots level.
“Problema talaga walang developmental and grassroots program. Not until we find the answer to the question on who is in charge, then we will really have no solid grassroots program,” said Romero of the 1Pacman party list, who is also vice chairman of the Committee on Youth and Sports in the House of Representatives.
“Nagtuturuan kung sino ang in charge,” he added on Monday. “Kaya dapat magpatawag ng meeting among PSC, POC, and DepEd tapos mag usap-usap sila.”
Romero lamented how sports had been neglected since the change from DECS (Department of Culture and Sports) to DepEd.
“Tinatanong ko yung programa sa sports hindi nila ma identify. Sabi ko bakit kasi tinanggal ninyo yung ‘culture and sports,’ nawala tuloy kami,” recalled the 43-year-old solon about what transpired during the budget hearing.
“Ginawa nilang DepEd, so siyempre education na lang talaga yun,” added Romero, who noted that education historically, always receives the biggest share of the country’s annual budget. For the year 2017 alone, out of the P3.3 trillion total budget, DepEd will get P411 billion.
Having the right body directly in control of finding talent in the grassroots level, Romero believes there will be more athletes that can be developed in other sports even at a younger age.
Romero said he is speaking from experience having once served as head of the country’s shooting and cycling associations.
“Usually kasi yung mga dumarating na atleta (sa mga NSAs), puro made na. Hindi talagang hilaw. Dapat talagang yung hahanapin sa mga schools kung saan manggagaling yung recruit,” he said.
He cited the case of basketball as a perfect example.
“Compare mo sa basketball, usually pag may naririnig ka na may magaling na nasa Grade 7 or elementary, pinag-aagawan na yan ng mga eskuwelahan,” Romero, who owns the Globalport franchise in the PBA, said.
“Walang ganun sa ibang sports kasi hindi mo na-iidentify ng ganun kabata kasi walang programa. 'Yun yung kailangan nating hanapin, yun yung kailangan gawing masterplan.”