MANILA, Philippines – Differently abled Filipino athletes will now have their Paralympic movement in the country, after the Philippine Sport for the Differently Abled (Philspada) formed the Philippines Paralympic Committee (PPC).
The PPC will serve as the counterpart of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the mother of all sports associations in the country.
Mike Barredo, a former Philippine sports commissioner who also heads the Philspada, serves as PPC president, with Tom Carrasco of triathlon as vice-president, and Ral Rosario of swimming as secretary-general.
The PPC will be run by a management group that includes Debbie Tolentino, Kiko Diaz, Many Calanog, and John Alonte as its officials.
"Just like the Olympic movement, there is also the Paralympic movement," said Carrasco. "It is appropriate that we start now."
According to Carrasco, the next step is for national sports associations (NSAs) to form their own groups for the differently abled, following the blueprint set by the group called the PH Para-Chessers Association (PPCA).
The PPCA, headed by James Infiesto, has been in existence for three years now.
Meanwhile, a 164-member strong Philippine delegation is set to leave Wednesday to plunge into action in the 9th ASEAN Para Games on September 17-23 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Ral Rosario will be the first to leave as he attends the chef de mission meeting Tuesday while the bulk of the delegation will fly on two batches Wednesday, one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon.
The Philippines is seeking to match, if not surpass, the 16-gold performance in the last ASEAN Para Games in Singapore two years ago.
The country are fielding in athletes in athletics (nine), badminton (seven), boccia (three), chess (17), cycling (three), goal ball (six), powerlifting (five), table tennis (nine), swimming (10), Tenpin bowling (15) and wheelchair basketball (12).
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.