AMID the pandemic, lawmakers are pushing to strengthen grassroots sports development with the creation of a National Academy of Sports.
The bicameral conference committee report on Senate Bill 1086 and House Bill 6312 was ratified by the Senate on Monday. Once ratified by both chambers of Congress, the bill will be transmitted to President Duterte for signing into law.
Sen. Sonny Angara filed Senate Bill 330 at the start of the 18th Congress in July 2019 with the intent of strengthening the country’s grassroots development program for sports.
What was initially proposed was the establishment of a Philippine High School for Sports. During the bicameral conference committee meeting on the measure, an agreement was made to go from a high school for sports to an academy for sports.
“We would also like to thank Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian for sponsoring the measure, to Sen. (Pia) Cayetano for her valuable inputs as co-author and Sen. Bong Go, whose idea it was to expanding this to an academy. This widens its scope to embrace even younger students,” he added.
“You need the facilities. So when our fiscal or money situation improves, we can start building all these facilities,” Angara said, noting that Clark is an ideal training camp but satellite camps are essential.
“We need more of these nationwide. Perhaps at a smaller level so that communities can be part of it,” Angara said.
“Now, rather than a single entity, the high school for sports, hopefully we can have a system which will permeate the grassroots development because we don’t have a really total grassroots immersion outside of the school system,” said Angara, also chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
“Hopefully one day we will realize our collective dream of winning that elusive gold medal in the Olympics,” he added.