MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker on Monday called on the Department of Education to create programs that will promote sports among young Filipinos, as well as to allot a “decent budget” to help schools develop student-athletes.
In a statement, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio said the DepEd must promote sports in order to preserve the Filipino youth’s innate athletic talents, especially in this “age of technology,” wherein young Filipinos are “currently engrossed in social media and high-tech gadgets.”
“What we must strive for is a genuine and long-term sports development. We should veer away from relying on imported talent, national teams whose members basically grew up and were trained abroad, especially in the fields of football and basketball,” Tinio said.
“We must tap the huge potential and talents of the Filipino youth in the public school system through the Palarong Pambansa,” he added.
Tinio noted that engaging in sports “will foster the development of Filipino virtues such as camaraderie and collective effort among the youth.”
The lawmaker added that the DepEd and other funding agencies should allot a “decent budget” for student athletes’ training, uniforms and stipends as well as sports facilities.
“We have heard of success stories of student-athletes who won in competitions with only a meager budget. While it is good that the DepEd has alloted P8.5 million for a special sports program, it must be ensured that the funds be distributed to student athletes even from far-flung areas of the country,” Tinio said.
“Funds must also be used not only to subsidize training but also to promote interest in sports among the youth,” he added.