MANILA - Southeast Asian Games facilities built at the New Clark City in Tarlac could be used for the proposed Philippine High School for Sports, a senator said Saturday.
The secondary school will offer full or partial scholarships with "special emphasis on developing the athletic skills of the students," said Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who authored the measure.
"Pinaka-importante yung momentum, ngayon eh meron tayong SEA Games fever at gold medal fever. Maganda ituloy natin ito at ipakita yung tuloy-tuloy na suporta sa mga atleta natin," he told DZMM
(The most important thing is momentum. Right now we have SEA Games and gold medal fever. It would be good to continue this and show our continuing support to our athletes.)
"Mama-maximize natin yung mga pasilidad na ipinatayo na sa New Clark City. Kung di natin gagamitin yun, masasayang. If you want world-class athletes, let them experience world-class facilities," he said.
(We will maximize our facilities built at the New Clark City. If we won't use these, it would go to waste.)
The Philippines currently leads the 30th edition of the biennial meet with 176 medals, of which 71 were gold, 55 were silver, and 50 were bronze.
The high school will be under the Department of Education in coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission for policy-making. The bill is under deliberation at the Senate plenary.
It will allow student-athletes to have "downtime" between their studies and training, said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture.
The facilities in New Clark City only lack classrooms, which will cost some P2 billion, while yearly maintenance of the facilities will cost around P100 million, Gatchalian said.
At least five senators have expressed support for the bill, Gatchalian said. Senators are also discussing incentives, including cash, for Filipino gold medalists, he added.