The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is seeking an additional budget of P450 million in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Filipino athletes’ preparation and participation in the 19th Asian Games, Winter Olympics and other major competitions in 2022.
POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino has submitted the request to Senate President Vicente Sotto III through Senate Committee on Appropriations chair Senator Sonny Angara, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch” Ramirez.
The request is broken down into P5 million for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, P150 million for the 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Thailand, P10 million for The World Games (TWG) in Birmingham, Alabama, P270 million for 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, and P15 million for the Fifth Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Shantou, China.
Tolentino said participation in the five major international competitions “would sustain the momentum that Filipino sports gained from the Tokyo Olympics.”
“Participation in these high-level sports events is truly significant as these are held only every four years,” Tolentino said in his letter dated Monday.
“Not only will joining these sports events showcase the Filipino brand of athletic talent, but more so elevate the morale of our athletes and inspire other young Filipinos to engage in sports training and development.”
Tolentino said the budgetary requirements were based on the total number of participating athletes and the events in which they will participate — including the costs of training.
The POC expects the Asian Games to have the most participants ranging from 250 to 275 athletes, followed by the AIMAG with 160 athletes. The AYG will have 15 to 20 Filipino delegates, while the Winter Olympics will have three to four athletes.
Tolentino also explained that the number of entries for the Asian Games would depend on the athletes’ performance in the AIMAG.
“The final composition of the delegation to Hangzhou will be based on the AIMAG,” he said. “If the athletes perform well, they’ll be going to the Asian Games. If not, they won’t be on the list.”
Tolentino also stated in the request — but not in the actual budget matrix — that there will be possibly additional expenses for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
The estimated budget for the postponed SEA Games is estimated at P200 million.
“Vietnam is expected to decide on the hosting this October. In the event that Vietnam decides to defer the hosting of the games, the additional P200 million shall be treated as savings and should be reverted to the National Treasury,” Tolentino said.