MANILA, Philippines -- The House and the Senate have both vowed to include in the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) a budget for four major international competitions next year.
This, according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.
"House Speaker Lord Velasco and Senate President Vicente Sotto III assured the inclusion of the budget for four major international competitions next year," Tolentino said on Wednesday.
According to Tolentino, the Department of Budget and Management did not allot a single centavo to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) budget for these major events.
The Philippines will take part in four international competitions next year: the Beijing Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20; the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand from March 10 to 20; the Asian Games in Hangzhou from September 10 to 25; and the Asian Youth Games in Shantou from December 20 to 28.
The POC will immediately determine the composition of the national teams for these four major events, in order to draw how much budget will be allocated by the 18th Congress, according to Tolentino.
"The budget hearings are coming up so we have to be steadfast," he said. "Philippine sports must be unwavering as we have to sustain the momentum of our successful campaign in the Tokyo Olympics."
"We have our sports heroes in gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial and the 15 other athletes who fought mightily in Tokyo," he added.
"Their success and how they campaigned changed the landscape of Philippine sports."
The POC has already pegged a 160-athlete delegation that will compete in 21 of the 31 sports in the AIMAG program in Thailand. Team Philippines is hoping to surpass its two-gold, 14-silver, 14-bronze medal haul in the 2017 edition of the Games in Ashgabat.
In the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, the Philippines won four gold medals, two silvers, and 15 bronzes.
Figure skaters Edrian Celestino, Sofia Frank and Christopher Caluza, meanwhile, will be vying for qualification for Beijing in an Olympic qualifier in Germany later this month.