House OKs on 2nd reading sports funds for young athletes

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2021 07:52 PM

MANILA -- The House of Representatives approved on second reading HB 10504, strengthening local sports programs to develop young athletes.

According to its congressional fact sheet, HB 10504 provides funds for the upgrade of sports facilities and the grant of financial assistance in the form of sports vouchers to mitigate the cost of participation in a sports club, recreation club, or sports organization duly accredited by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

For this purpose, the PSC shall manage and administer three separate funds:

1. Get Started Fund — It shall be used to assist young athletes, including those with disabilities as well as athletes who cannot afford to join any local sports club, recreation club, or sports organization by reason of financial constraints. Under this fund, young athletes shall be provided with a discount voucher of up to P3,000 annually to help pay for their registration, membership, participation, and training fees. The vouchers can be redeemed at a sports club, recreation club, or sports organization registered with the program.

2. Get Going Fund — This shall be used to support local sports clubs, recreation clubs, and sports organizations with funding of up to P50,000 annually for projects and programs that provide opportunities for more young athletes to become involved in sports.

3. Get Playing Fund — This fund shall provide up to P500,000 annually in order to assist local sports clubs, recreation clubs, and sports organizations in improving sports facilities and encourage more young athletes to become actively involved in the sports activity of their choice.

Under the bill, young athletes availing of the sports voucher, must be: Under the age of 18 and is actively engaged in any sports; a member of any recognized or duly accredited local sports club, recreation club, or sports organization; and a resident in the locality where the sports club, recreation club, or sports organization is located.

However, the use of the sports voucher shall be governed by the following conditions: It shall not be redeemable for cash; It is non-transferable to any person except to another local sports club, recreation club, or sports organization; It is transferable to another local sports club, recreation club, or sports organization only once a year: Provided, That the transfer is applied for prior to the actual use and enjoyment of the sports facilities; It cannot be reused once redeemed by the local sports club, recreation club, or sports organization; and Only one voucher shall be payable to an eligible athlete per calendar year.

The House may vote on the bill on third and final reading next week.