MANILA - The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Monday appealed to senators to include a P229-million budget for the National Sports Academy, saying the funding for the new school for athletes was not included in the 2021 spending bill.
The initial funding is needed to prepare the Academy for its expected opening in 2022, BCDA President Vince Dizon said during the agency's budget hearing in the Senate.
"We are requesting for some funding for the newly-passed law," he said.
"This will be for the phase 1 of the development which will based on requirement of DepEd (Department of Education) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)," he said.
Under Republic Act No. 11470, the National Sports Academy will integrate secondary education with a special curriculum on sports to help young Filipino athletes study while training.
The sports education facility will be housed in the multi-billion New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac which the BCDA developed for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.
The Academy's budget was supposed to be under the DepEd's annual budget, while "all income and monetary donations" given to the academic institution shall be placed into the Sports High School Fund.
"Hindi po sinama ng DBM (Department of Budget and Management) sa NEP (National Expenditure Program) ang budget for the National Sports Academy dahil hindi pa siya napirmahan at that time," Dizon said.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law that created the Academy in June, while the DBM submitted the P4.5-trillion 2021 spending bill to Congress for deliberations in August.