Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles of the National Unity Party (NUP) is pushing the creation of a Cabinet-level government agency that would focus on sports development and the needs of Filipino athletes in the country.
Nograles, the NUP’s vice president for internal affairs, said his proposal, House Bill 6440, aims to abolish the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and replace it with a Department of Sports.
"After more than 20 years since the creation of the PSC, the state of Philippine sports appears to have worsened rather than improved. Since Mansueto Velasco won a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Philippines has not won a single medal in the succeeding editions of the Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, the experiences and the lessons in earning that victory was not sustained," Nograles said.
Nograles said his proposed Department of Sports will be responsible for promulgating policies that will help the country improve its performance in international competitions.
This objective could be accomplished “by finding solutions to the problems besetting Philippine sports including the lack of a comprehensive national sports program, the need to enhance the partnership with various sectors involved in sports, obsolete training methods, lack of modern and high quality training facilities, equipment and sports venues,” he added.
Nograles has proposed a P200 million funding for the organizational and initial calendar year of operational expenditures of the new department.
"It is now high time for the government to prioritize sports in the national agenda, and consider sports as an integral factor in nation building," Nograles said.
HB 6440 provides for the establishment of the Amateur Sports Development Bureau (ASDB), which shall be primarily responsible for the promotion, and development of amateur sports in the country. The bill also establishes the Grassroots Sport Division and Local and National Sports Competition Division within the Department.
It also creates the National Sports Association Affairs Division and the International Sports Competition Division, which compose the International Sports Development Bureau.