Wed. Jul 28th, 2021

MANILA – The Philippines is yet to win its very first gold medal in the Olympic Games but it is definitely on the right track to that end.

That is the “new source of hope” of the proposed Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS) Senate Bill 1086 filed by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Last Wednesday last week, SB 1086 already hurdled the third and final reading in the Senate.

TPHSS will be established within the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

In his regular column “Going Forward” at Philippine Tribune, Go said the school will accept “students who have demonstrated the potential of excelling in sports” to train in our world-class facilities “while continuing their high school education.”

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority shall provide the land for the site, and shall also be in charge of the construction of classrooms, dormitories and other sports facilities and related amenities.

Go, who is a sports buff, noted during the recently-held 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Team Philippines came out on top due to the support they received from the people and the government.

“It is about time that we sustain the renaissance of sports in the country,” Go said.

PHSS to offer scholarships

The PHSS shall be attached to the Department of Education (DepEd) which shall also coordinate with the Philippine Sports Commission for policy and program formulation and implementation on subjects pertaining to sports.

It shall offer, on a full or partial scholarship basis, a holistic center for students who have shown potential in excelling in sports and shall provide them with access to education that takes into consideration their training needs.

Go said the PHSS “is one of the best ways that our government can sustain our country’s resurgence in sports.”

Go said if passed into law, the PHSS would provide opportunities for students to complete high school while excelling in their chosen sports.

They will be trained using world-class sports facilities in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, which will also serve as the site for the proposed high school.

The Department of Education (DepEd) will also develop a specialized curriculum to allow the youth to study core subjects, such as mathematics and science, while simultaneously developing their athletic skills.

“With [establishment] of the PHSS in very close proximity to world-class facilities, our student-athletes can enjoy a level of training which is at par with the best in the world,” Go said.

“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,” he added.

Go noted that in his 2019 State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed support for the passage of the bill establishing the nation’s sports academy the senator said on a separate report by Manila Times.

“In pushing for the passage of this measure, I have closely coordinated with agenciessuch 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,” he said.

The senator added that these agencies share the same passion to realize the dream that has already been, for others, “30 years too late.”

“Even before I became fortunate enough to be part of this honorable chamber, sports has always had a place very close to my heart,” Go said.

“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 Gilas Pilipinas, to finding ways to supplement the training of our very own Hidilyn Diaz, I proudly display my support for Philippine sports,” he continued.

“As most Filipinos know, many of our athletes have brought pride to our country recently by bagging medals in world championships and international sporting events. This is proof that the Philippines is on its way to regaining its status as a sports powerhouse in Asia,” Go related.

Alternative, equitable admission

Likewise, the school is mandated to “ensure an alternative and equitable admission process to enhance the access of indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and students from other marginalized groups.” Go admitted that he particularly liked the provision “because we have athletes who have excelled in the Paralympics and similar events.”

Some people fear that young athletes in the Visayas and Mindanao may be left behind because the PHSS will be located in Luzon but Go ensured that this will not happen.

“The President and I, who are both probinsiyanos, will not let this happen. The policies and guidelines of the school will be ‘in accordance with a national sports program.’ The students will be scholars so that even those who come from indigent families in the regions will be able to study at the PHSS,” Go noted.

“As an advocate of long-term sports development and Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, I worked very hard to take the measure where it is now,” according to the senator.

“I filed a bill seeking to create the PHSS in July last year, soon after I took my oath as a Senator. To ensure that the proposal will gain widespread support, I personally talked to the officials of the Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission, Bases Conversion and Development Authority and other relevant government agencies,” Go concluded. (Iamigo/

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