MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. personally conveyed his congratulatory remarks to the Philippine women’s national football team at Malacañang Palace Wednesday.
Marcos met the members of Filipinas after their historic title run in the recently concluded 2022 AFF Women’s Championship held in the country.
“President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. welcomes our Philippine Women's National Football Team in a courtesy visit today at the President's Hall in Malacañang Palace, following their historic 2022 AFF Women's Championship title,” according to the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) Facebook page.
Aside from the athletes, also present at the courtesy visit were Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta Jr., secretary general Atty. Edwin Gastanes, and PSC executive director and officer-in-charge Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr.
Iroy also presented Marcos with a Team Philippines jacket.
During the courtesy visit, Marcos promised to step up government support for national athletes in honing their potentials on the heels of the Filipinas victory.
“We have to do better in terms of government support when it comes to our athletes. Medyo nabawasan nung nawala ‘yung sports sa eskuwelahan, when DECS (Department of Education, Culture and Sports) became Department of Education alone, the emphasis on sport became a little bit less,” Marcos said.
“But that is something that we really should encourage because sport means more than just playing games. It means developing discipline, learning how to sacrifice, learning to be gracious in victory, learning to work with other people as a team,” he added.
He hailed the women’s football team for bringing joy and pride to their countrymen.
“So I thank you very much, and I congratulate you for this great achievement and great championship," Marcos said.
LAWMAKER FILES RESOLUTION HONORING FILIPINAS
Rep. Greg Gasataya of Bacolod filed a resolution at the House of Representatives congratulating the football team, noting their "exemplary performance" for the international competition.
"We are thankful for the team's dedication in representing our country and for all their hardwork and sacrifices to take home the crown. Their victory is an inspiration for us to continue supporting our athletes," Gasataya said in a statement.
He vowed to continue supporting the country's athletes by pushing for legislation focused on sports development and "adequate" assistance.
The Filipinas toppled the odds and survived a brutal schedule to emerge as champions of the AFF Women's Championship on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
To cap their campaign, they overpowered regional football superpower Thailand, 3-0.
It is the first major international trophy for the Philippine women's team, and the highlight of a year that has already seen them qualify for the World Cup and win bronze at the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
After a short break, the Filipinas will reunite in late August for the fourth FIFA window of the year, which runs from August 29 to September 6.
Courtesy of Radio Television Malacanang