Press Release
October 2, 2019



Good afternoon, Mr. President.

As Committee Chairman on Sports, I rise to express my full and unwavering support for Senate Bill No. 1086 under Committee Report No. 12, creating the Philippine High School for Sports. Since the beginning, I have always been very vocal and public about my advocacy of passing this legislative measure, through my filing of Senate Bill No. 397 last July.

Even before I became fortunate enough to be part of this Honorable Chamber, sports has always had a place very close to my heart. Time and again, I have publicly supported various programs and initiatives for the advancement of Philippine sports; from my all out support as part of the delegation for the Gilas Pilipinas, to finding ways to supplement the training of our very own Hidilyn Diaz, I proudly display my support for Philippine Sports.

Mr. President, the Constitution itself provides that the State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.

The Constitution also explicitly provides that the State shall promote physical education and encourage sports programs league competitions, and amateur sports, including training for international competitions, to foster self-discipline, teamwork, and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry.

Clearly, Mr. President, the significance of sports and education was not lost in the framers of our Constitution. This is the reason, Mr. President, that I firmly believe that it is high time that we vigorously push for the passage of this measure, which, to others, is 30 years too late. I believe that with the passion, dedication, and the Filipino people's inherent love for sports, we will be able to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of sports development.

Through the PHSS, we will be able to provide full or partial scholarships to our youth who have shown potential in excelling in the field of sports. Through the specialized curriculum developed by the Department of Education, we will be able to provide quality education in core subjects such as Math, Science, while simultaneously placing equal emphasis on developing athletic skills through subjects on physical education and sports development.

It is a reality for some of our gifted young athletes to experience difficulty in accessing quality education. Through scholarship grants, Mr. President, we will be able to provide an avenue for them to gain quality education, while developing their skills and talents in sports through world-class training.

Moreover, with the creation of PHSS in very close proximity to world-class facilities as you can see on the screen, our student-athletes can enjoy a level of training which is at par with the best in the world. This type of training and education can catapult our student-athletes to illustrious careers in sports, whether as athletes, coaches, managers, or any other sports-related profession.

Mr. President, this advocacy of mine is also shared by President Duterte. In fact, such is the passion of his support for this measure that this bill was included in the 2019 State of the Nation Address. In pushing for the passage of this measure, I have closely coordinated with agencies such as the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Education, the Department of Budget and Management, and of course, the Bases Conversion Development Authority, to ensure that this bill, if passed, shall allow us to hit the ground running. They all share the same enthusiasm we do in pursuing this dream. The framework is there, and the foundation is laid; all that we must do is to give this bill a chance to come into fruition.

At the end of the day, I honestly and humbly believe that this is an endeavor which we can all be proud to have been part of. I urge my colleagues in this august body to come together in support of this measure, for the benefit of our youth, and for the benefit of Philippine sports.

I would like to thank the Honorable Sponsor and Chairman of the Committee on Basic Education, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, for showing equal passion and dedication for the development of Philippine sports and our youth.

I fervently urge my colleagues in this Honorable chamber to support this measure. Alang-alang po sa ating kabataan, at para na rin po sa ating pagbabalik sa tuktok ng mundo sa palakasan.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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