Senators Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara go to bat for PH sports

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Senators Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara filed separate bills last month allocating over P2 billion to establish a sports training center dedicated to nurturing Filipino athletes who are expected to excel in international competitions.

The training center will have state-of-the-art equipment, technology, facilities and amenities to ensure high-level training and the total wellness of the athletes.

Aquino said the development of grassroots sports in the country was overdue.

“Despite the Filipinos’ love for sports and athletics, the support to achieve sustained excellence in sports from the private and public sectors has been lacking,” he said in the explanatory note to his bill.

Angara, in his bill, said the P750-million annual budget of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) was inadequate to put up and repair sports facilities, and paled in comparison to the sports budgets of neighboring countries like Thailand and Singapore, which allocate P13 billion and P6.5 billion a year, respectively, for their sports programs.

Angara said the creation of a training center, along with other sports advancement measures, “shall provide an integrated grassroots to elite sports development platform intended to provide our athletes with long-term and sustainable state support to perform well in international tournaments and represent our country with pride and honor.”

The PSC would be in charge of the center.

The bills propose that P2 billion be set aside for the construction of the training center, and P55 million for its maintenance, operation and management.

The training center would be exempt from real estate, stamp, amusement, income and other taxes.

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