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Bong Go: sports important in fostering unity; supports PSC, GAB budgets

October 06, 2020 - Tuesday 6:10 PM by MDM

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OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CHRISTOPHER ‘BONG’ GO
DURING THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING ON THE
2021 BUDGETS OF PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION AND GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS BOARD

06 October 2020 

Thank you, Committee Secretary.  We are here for the briefing of the budgets of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), led by Chairman Butch Ramirez and its commissioners, and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), led by Chairman Baham Mitra and its commissioner. 

I also acknowledge the presence of Senator Imee Marcos and Senator Nancy Binay, thank you for joining us. May we now request the committee secretary to read and include to the record the presence of our resource persons here. ComSec, kindly acknowledge the resource persons. 

We are here for the briefing of the budget of Philippine Sports Commission and Games and Amusements Board.

Before we begin with the presentations, let me first express my full support to the PSC and the GAB. 

I congratulate the PSC, together with all the organizers, for the successful hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year which concluded with Team Philippines being the overall champion. Our players were in high morale because of evident government support. 

Nakaka-proud po, nakakataba ng puso ‘yung nangyari nung nakaraang taon, toward the end of the year, ‘yung ating success po sa Southeast Asian Games kung saan tayo nanalo at nag-top.

As Chairman of the Committee on Sports, the budgets for the PSC and GAB are some of my priorities. As I have said time and again, I support your budgets as long as the people’s money is put to good use, wisely spent and used solely for the intended purpose. 

Napaka-importante po ng sports in fostering unity. We saw that last year when we won as one in the SEA Games. Sports has the unique capability of developing in our youth a sense of camaraderie and responsibility. 

Hindi man prayoridad ang sports activities sa ngayon, priority pa rin natin ang mga atleta at kapakanan nila. Dapat matanggap nila ang allowances nila on time, lalo na ngayong pandemya, at parati ko po itong sinusubaybayan tuwing may nababalitaan po akong nagkakaroon ng delays sa kanilang mga natatanggap na allowances and what is due to them ay handa po akong… bukas po ang aking opisina para tumulong at mag-follow up po kaagad para sa ating mga atleta. ‘Wag po natin silang pabayaan.

Halos lahat po ng sports activities na-apektuhan po ng COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, the sectors being supervised by the Games and Amusements Board are also experiencing the adverse impacts of the crisis. GAB's operations were also severely affected.

I ask both the PSC and GAB to consider first and foremost health and safety protocols in deciding the resumption of some sports activities. Mag-coordinate po kayo sa DOH at IATF. 

And, in fact, ako po mismo ay nilalapitan rin po ng mga iba’t ibang association, halimbawa ng Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), nagpatulong po sila na makapag-resume na po ng kanilang paglalaro. Masaya po ako at pumasa po sa health protocols na ipinapatupad ng IATF. Makakaumpisa na po itong PBA sa Clark ngayong October 11, tinatawag na PBA bubble patterned after doon sa NBA bubble na successful po ngayon, nasa finals na po sila. And, hopefully, magiging successful rin itong PBA, not only sa resumption of games but ‘yung entertainment po na maibibigay po nito sa ating kababayan. 

Lalong-lalo na po sa panahon ng pandemya na wala pong ibang libangan ang ating kababayan kundi manood ng TV, eh hindi naman po sila makapunta mismo. Alam kong miss na nila ‘yung live na paglalaro ng PBA. Hindi lang po PBA, iba’t ibang sports activities na ating hilig at nakagawian na po bilang isang Pilipino. Tulungan lang po natin, pero uunahin natin safety ng bawat Pilipino, safety ng bawat atleta.

As an advocate of sports, I have supported various programs and initiatives for the advancement of Philippine sports. Last June, the President signed into law one of my priority bills which seeks to establish a National Academy of Sports. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support for the measure. 

Investing in sports will not only help us in keeping our youth away from illegal drugs and other harmful vices, but it will also enable us to develop world class athletes who can bring pride, honor, and medals to our country. 

Ito pong National Academy for Sports ay pwede na pong makapag-aral at the same time po, makapag-training ang isang estudyante. Hindi po masasakripisyo ang pag-aaral, hindi po masasakripisyo ang pagti-training dahil pwede na po gawin ito at the same time. Usually before pag nag-aaral, nasasakripisyo ang training, pag nagti-training, nasasakripisyo po ang pag-aaral. Ngayon pwede na pong isabay, wala pong masasayang na panahon sa ating atleta.

We need a strong sports development program that is implemented by a likewise strong Philippine Sports Commission. We need strong regulation of professional sports to combat and prevent the existence of illegal gambling connected with sports and amusement games. To be able to do this, the PSC and the GAB must have the budgetary means to pursue programs and activities that would help our athletes.

I am calling on both PSC and GAB to follow through with their goals and objectives.

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